Leadership, Conversations, and Friends

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

It’s not very often that I have a leadership role in anything. It’s also even less often that I actually take on that leadership role willingly. So if everything works out well, you could just be witness to a historic moment – or at least a rare one.

Last night, Jeff called me up and told me to come to Duey’s Ice Cream to hang out with him and some other people. The other people there were Kristy, Dave, Angelie, and Erica. So I headed off and got to discussing the fate of New Life’s youth group with them. You see, before I got the phone call, I had been at the first youth service we’ve had in a while. Both Jordan and Kyle were away, so it was only Lawrence and me for worship. Only four other people showed up, so Pastor Al told us just to sing one song. After that, he talked about the judges (found in the book of Judges), mentioning Ehud in particular. The point was that we don’t have to have amazing abilities or talents to serve God, just a willing heart. I suppose now that I think of it, that ties in amazingly well with what happened not too long after.

As I discussed the fact that our youth group was dead, or at least at the very brink of death, Angelie told me that I should start up a guys’ Bible study. She sounded like she had gotten this idea earlier and was just sharing it with me now. She said I should have a study not started by an adult “leader” or anything, and that Wild at Heart would be a good book to start with. I gave it about two seconds of thought at first, and then dismissed the idea as stupid. I thought it would never work. The guys in my youth group are generally more interested in getting to know their girlfriends more than getting to know God. They’re also known to have a lack of commitment, and just show up to events whenever they feel like it. Of course, I do the same thing in that aspect I suppose, but I am committed to getting to know God more. Anyways, I convinced myself that since I have little say in the youth group and no one listens to me, that it’d never work. I dismissed it, and that was that – at least, for the time being.

I lay in bed this morning in the waking stages, and suddenly the idea came back to me. But this time it came back with a harder force. I realized just how sick I was with my youth group. I mean, that’s one of the big reasons I started going to Central in the first place – because I needed some group of people that actually had a heart for God. As I coupled the idea of a Bible study along with my desire to see change in the youth group, it suddenly started to piece itself together. I could talk to Pastor Al about it and get a place reserved for us on certain nights in the church somewhere, and then announce it at youth once I got all the details figured out. Of course, the doubts began to fill my mind. I doubted that it would actually work. I doubted that anyone would actually listen to me. But then I thought about the guys in our youth group. As I looked back on past events, I realized that they really do have a heart for God when they’re pushed to have it – they just won’t take leadership and do it themselves. They wait for someone else to lead them, and then they get closer to Him. So I told myself that I couldn’t just wait for someone else to take charge and do something like this, because it’d never happen. Hey, maybe it won’t work. But at the very most, the only “loss” I’ll have from it is a bit of disappointment, and of course a book that I bought that will still at least help me. But I think it just might work.

I kept thinking about it as I woke up and did my devotions. As luck would have it (or Someone else perhaps), the focus of today’s devotional was on serving others. I mean, that’s what it’s going to be for the next week, but today’s centrepoint was about three men who wanted to follow God but held back in one area of their lives. Jesus then told them that they were not fit for the kingdom. And as I thought about it, God just said to me, “Hey, if you hold back on your leadership potential, I can’t use you. I don’t care if nobody follows you, but if you’re willing to lead, then I’ll use you.” Right then and there, I made my firm decision to follow through with it and asked for God’s blessing on the planning of it along with the actual Bible study as well. And of course, the next words I read on the page went something like this: “Do you follow through with what you start when you serve others, or do you have a tendency to start and quit?” Okay, okay God, I get the message…

So those are my plans. Please pray that this would all work out, and that those who get involved would stay committed and truly open their hearts to change. Please pray for me as well, since I’ve never been that much of a leader, really. I’m usually the person who waits for someone else to take charge and then supports them – because I’ve been in their position before and hated it, so I know how hard it is without support. It’ll still at least be a couple weeks before it all gets set up, because I want to go to the guys’ Life Group next week and see who all is there, and then announce the Bible study the following week at youth. That way, I’ll have a better idea of just who might be willing to come. I have a few people in mind that would most likely come, but I’ll have a better idea once I go to next week’s Life Group. I’ve written down all I need to do on a piece of paper so I won’t forget – I love lists – and now it’s just a matter of doing it. Too bad that’s the hard part.

Anyways, to continue on with my recollection of last night, after I got to Duey’s Ice Cream, we stood around and talked for a while, then went over to Angelie’s house. There we sat and talked for a while more, and then decided to go take a walk over to the park. On the way, Kristy went to her grandma’s house to say hello, and then we continued on to the park. Once there, we basically split off into pairs. It wasn’t planned or anything; that’s just how it happened. I think it had to do with the swings. There were four of them, and six of us, so four of us went on the swings, and Jeff and Kristy went to the play area (with the monkey bars and such) and talked over there. Erica was on the swing beside me, and then Angelie and Dave were on the two swings further away, so they started talking to each other, and Erica and I started talking to each other as well. It’s amazing just how much swings encourage serious conversation. But anyways, Erica brought up Melissa about thirty-seven times. I think she’s more obsessed with the girl than I am, and I’m going out with her. Then again, she also brought up Jordan about thirty-eight times, so you can see the obsession there as well. We talked about my blog for a bit as well, since she’s one of my faithful readers, and also about “woman power.” That’s basically the way women tend to whip their boyfriends into submission. She said I’d be like that in a couple months, and I told her no way – I keep my women in their place. She didn’t believe me, but whatever. I guess only time will tell.

That talking went on for probably a good two hours, and then we walked back. It turned out that Angelie and Dave had been talking about spiritual gifts, so on the way back, we were talking about that. Angelie couldn’t exactly remember them, though, and I could only remember a few myself, so it was hard to tell Dave what his gifts were. I have a test thing that I did somewhere around here, so maybe I’ll find it and refresh my memory. Anyways, everyone had great discussions; it was really awesome. I really enjoy this group of people (as well as others who weren’t there, of course), because they’re open to having serious conversations. There are some people who just refuse to be serious, but these people aren’t that type. Sure, they know how to have fun, but they also know when to joke around and when to be serious, and I really appreciate that about them.

We all walked back to Angelie’s house and then decided that we needed to hang out again sometime this week. I only work Tuesday afternoon, so I told them I was pretty much free anytime. We decided that today would be one of them; I think Jeff is picking people up at 11:00 this morning. We’ll likely do something cool, and if not, we’ll sit around and try to think of something cool to do. That’s always how it works. Anyways, after deciding that and then standing around even longer repeating our plans to make sure everyone had it burned into their memories, Kristy got in my car, and we drove home. On the way, we talked a bit about the conversations we both had. As I said, everyone had a great time talking with someone else. I’d say that I’d love to do it again sometime, but I know that there’s a very good chance that we will anyways – so there’s no point in even saying it. I took Kristy home, and she Candypantsed a few people on the way. It’s always strange having a serious conversation being interrupted by the other person leaning out the window and yelling “Candypants!” then turning back around and continuing on the conversation. I surely couldn’t give you a reason why, though.

That was pretty much the entire night. I had a really great time, and after the discouragement that I had from my own youth group and the lack of people there, I was grateful that someone called me to hang out. I’m also glad that we didn’t just go to someone’s house and sit in front of a TV. I find that so boring now that I can’t stand it. What’s the point of it? Who needs entertainment when you can actually be social and talk to people? It’s so much more satisfying, and it’s easy to do unless you’re a mime. I mean, even if you’re not talking about something serious or profound, it’s still so much better to just talk about anything and have a good time. Or there’s always the great time that you can have getting out and doing something – or even staying in and doing something. Play cards, go on a walk, climb trees, run around screaming, or practice standing on your head – anything but turning on a stupid television. Anything where you can talk to someone else while you’re doing it. I guess I’m starting to rant here, but that’s okay. Television is stupid. I’m just glad that I have friends now who do more than just sit in front of a little box with moving pictures. That’s reserved for people who have no friends, who can’t move, or who are currently in jail. All others who watch TV and don’t fit into those categories should be shot on sight.

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