“Oh, I’m so going to use that with my students.”
As the video went viral all of my youth ministry groups on Facebook were littered with questions from youth pastors asking, “How can we best use this video for our youth group?”
I think that we are too fast to want to use everything as a resource or teachable moment.
In fact, I think we often hide behind our role as a leader to become plastic. We don’t allow things to impact us because we look at everything from a lens of, “How can I use this?”
And that’s a very cheap way to engage our life on earth. It denies our own human experience to go from one thing we can promote to another. And we get excited about getting people excited about stuff more than we get excited about getting ourselves to really understand stuff.
I don’t know all that is behind this leadership instinct to rush to resource instead of allowing ourselves to be impacted. But, for me, I think it’s built around my insecurity. I want to be seen as compassionate to child slavery [or whatever the cause of the week is] more than I actually want to personally do something about it. I am quick to give a few dollars but slow to understand how my daily actions may be funding child slavery.
No more distractions
Perhaps the bigger thing, speaking purely for myself, is that I know I need to walk away from the cause of the week sometimes because it becomes a distraction from my cause of every week.
I cannot escape these priorities in my life.
- My own relationship with Jesus is more important than the cause of the week.
- Jesus has called me to invest in my family.
- Jesus has called me to love my neighbors as myself. Not a metaphorical neighbor, the people who live on my block.
- Jesus has called me to dig in at my church.
- Jesus has called me to my work.
In light of this, the cause of the week really isn’t all that important.
Investing in my relationship with Jesus is more important than leading a discussion about Kony 2012. Having a great conversation with my kids is more important than telling them about Kony 2012. Leaning on the fence and listening to my neighbor is more important than telling them about Kony 2012. Leaning in and engaging with my small group is more important than plugging Kony 2012. Working hard and pushing through my work is more important than caring about Kony 2012.
See, I don’t think the cause of the week is bad. Not at all. But I do think things like this are a big distraction, for me, from my priorities. And if things like that do impact me, I need to allow them to really and truly matter to me before I think about involving other people.