So the soccer mom mini van will be at the dealership till at least Wednesday, so that left me and the family rolling in total style today... 1975 Crown Bus. It must have been confusing for the kids. We got some chilli fries for lunch and then fueled the bus. We got food for the house and cheap peanut buttter sandwich cookies for tomorrow's beach trip. My kids often just roll with what ever youth ministry event is happening, and I'm not sure how healthy that is, but we do try to communicate with them what's going to happen, it just doesn't always work. Today when we got back to church with the groceries my middle child, the outgoing one of the bunch, says "Ah man! How come we didn't go to the beach!" Tomorrow, Princess, Tomorrow.
Speaking of beach trips...I went to high school with this kid named Joe, I can't remember if he was Joe 1 or Joe 2. Joe is a Youth Pastor. Today Joe got fired. Joe... the rest of this post is for you.
Joe worked faithfully for seven years at the same place, he served his students, congregation, and community in ways that brought heaven to earth. Today Joe got blindsided in a meeting. It went something like this... "We're going in a direction...today is your last day!" As far as I know he did nothing illegal, immoral, or unsafe (possibly justifiable reasons to fire a youth worker on the spot). THIS STINKS! Makes me think of a quote by a friend of mine who's been gone for awhile...
I'm beginning to believe that if those who are called into youth ministry followI am so hopeful for the body. I do not believe this quote is true. But I keep seeing it prove itself over and over again. BTW: How come no one calls it "getting fired" when you work at a church? Transistion is always based on God's leading. "We just felt called somewhere else". Like it would be immoral to say "me and mister pastor are driving each other nutts! For the sake of each other and the body we need to do something different". I'm all for unity and avoiding division. I just think a little more honesty and transparency would go along way in the church. For Joe, and his wife, I hurt today. But as an advocate of students, I hurt for Joe's kids. The one's who were learning how to live out their faith in a pluralistic world, the ones who just got home from feeding the homeless, and introducing kids to Jesus. To the kids that were being led to a real lasting connected relationship with God, and now are confused and with out their leader, I want to say I'm sorry. I want to apologize on behalf of the church. I want you to know, I'm sorry your beach trip got messed up, and I hope God redeems this mess.
the lead of the One who called them, getting fired is inevitable. Why? Because,
in general, the institutional church doesn't get it. The institutional church
has become hopelessly corporate, hopelessly tangled in a web of secularism.
Instead of the church being the Church, it has opted instead to be a
corporation. - Mike Yaconelli
PS- I am not Joe. Joe's name is not really Joe. I didn't ask Joe if I could post this, but quite frankly, there's way too many Joes out there to even start asking them. Would you pray with me? May the church become more holistic in it's ministry to students. May the church start being the church regardless of our generational and cultural differences. May we all become a little more honest and transparent. And may we find the grace of Jesus in this beautiful mess.