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Letting Go and Celebrating It

Today we’re continuing our conversation about the Orange Conference and the philosophy behind it. Late last night or should I say this morning I lobbed a post at you to encourage you in how you begin to see the family in new ways. In student ministry we often care so well for the student that we forget to create movement for the family in our talks, events, and initiatives.

So let’s think about the way we sculpt our environment for students, the things we talk about with them, and the stuff we hold so dearly in order to reach them. We have what we do and practice because of the mission. Loving students well and pushing them toward Jesus should never change. With Orange and family ministry you’re still going after that but along with it your creating a context for you to do that with the family and for the family.

Let’s face it. You get frustrated because in some respect some of your students are the greatest force for Christ in their home. You get frustrated because you only get the call when the crap has hit the fan or when you’ve made mom or dad mad and it completely discourages you. You’re not raising your hand in your heart and saying, “Parents, just stay out of the way.” I know exactly what you’re thinking. But what  is happening in those moments are opportunities to take serious inspection of the truth that it will never go away unless you address it.

Questions to consider as you inspect this reality…

1. Is the Gospel only happening with students or is it on the move in their home as well?
2. If it’s on the move in the home how would that change our teenagers? How would it shape this town? Church? Relationships? Pain? Hope?
3. Where do I fit as a steward of this possible channel for the complete picture of the Gospel happening in our student’s homes?
4. How epic would it be if the pain we see was being attended to by not just our volunteers and staff but also by a dad on mission and a mom on mission for these beautiful kids?
5. Is our inability to address and change our internal church leadership conversations on this topic just furthering and creating repetitious dysfunction from generation to generation?

When I think about letting go of old questions and grabbing on to new ones I try not to think about what I’m losing but instead what I’m gaining for the sake of the Gospel. The video (embedded below) is kind of a cool way of thinking about how new ways make dad the hero and it could very well be mom. You will want to see it and think about what you gain when you let go.

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

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chadswanzy@churchleaders.com'
Chad Swanzy has served in youth ministry for 15 years and currently works as the student ministry director at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. Learn more from Chad and ask him your questions at ChadSwanzy.com.