Embracing Smallness

This past week, I contacted thirty teens with an offer of conversation and a free lunch. It would be a time to build relationship and invest in them as people. And not one of them responded.

A few years ago our team planned a Friday night 'party in the park' event. Every Friday evening we'd pull out the BBQ, play soccer, and eat candy. Over the whole summer, maybe six youth showed up.

Sometimes youth ministry isn't as busy as you'd think. Yet, according to a recent Christianity Today article, upwards of 50% of people in ministry will experience burn out at some point in their career. Why is this? Maybe for some it's because they want to look successful, so they do more. But more often than not I believe it's because, in our compassion, we take on more than we should.

We cannot do it all. We are only part of God's plan.

There is wisdom in embracing our uniqueness, our smallness. As my parish priest, Fr. Michael, recently said, speaking of St. Paul's metaphor, "one of us will look more like Christ as he or she looks more like a foot, while another will look more like Christ as he or she looks more like a hand. But whether hand or foot, or mouth or ear, it is only together that we make the Body of Christ."

- Chris Hawthorne


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