I'm reading a book right now called, "How Full Is Your Bucket?" I found this book one day when I was meandering around Barnes and Noble. Each time I stop in to the book store, I immediately head to the Leadership/Management and Psychology sections. You never know what gem you will find.
The title caught my attention because it was a familiar image to me. My dad first introduced me to this image. He always talks about a cup that we all have. It is where we store our worth. If we aren't a full cup, we will steal worth from other people's cups.
It's a simple idea with massive implications.
Dr. Clifton and Tom Roth discovered that every interaction we have with other people either fills us up or drains us.
When you read that, you realize how right they are. Everyone knows of someone who drains them. When you see that person coming toward you, you instantly start to cringe. You begin to create a means of escape so that you don't have to interact with them.
We also know people who fill us up. Maybe it is what they say to us when we are down. Maybe it is how they treat us and defend us. Maybe it is what they don't say, when everyone else just tears us down.
Youth Ministers have to answer a question.
Which person are we to the students, parents, and leaders we work with?
Do they cringe when they see us? Do they know that they will be put down? Do they know that when life gets tough, we won't defend them?
Or do they see us and know that they will be encouraged, filled, and reminded of who they are in Christ?
One of our goals in Youth Ministry should be creating a culture where everyone is filled. It is hard work, but it is probably one of the most important jobs of a Youth Minister! You might be the best speaker in the world, but if the culture you make doesn't fill people up, your culture will speak louder than your words.
We have to continually make sure that our culture at Small Groups, Youth Groups, Weekly Programs and Events is centered around a environment of filling and belonging. Students are craving to be filled. They seek it out wherever they go! I think this is one of the reasons why students are so busy. They need a fix to fill them.
I also think this is why some students check out of the Church. They honestly believe they would be better filled and served somewhere else. And the sad truth is, they might be right.
We can change that!