Many years ago, in fact sometimes it feels like it was another life on another planet, I used to be a youth pastor in a large church.
By many standards – we rocked!
Sure I was pretty proud of the leaders I had trained up (many now in full time ministry around the nation) I was pretty stoked with the 100’s of kids coming along each week. We trained these young leaders in the art of follow up and cold (and warm!) calling young people and their friends to ask them to come along to youth group next week, to tell them we cared and see if they wanted to catch up or be in a small group or whatever.
Many years went past, much water under the bridge.
The phone just rang and a ‘cutesy’ young girl voice was on the phone, it went like this;
“Hello Mr Vawser, this is **** form the [local youth group] (the same one from my past!) I am ringing to let you know that I have your daughters name on a list of young girls who may be interested in coming along to youth group Friday night…” stop to take a breath…”It starts with a ‘pre-show’ at 4.30 and then youth begins proper at 5.30 to 7.30 I know Mikaela would love it if she came along and if she did love it she could join me in my small group we have a great group of young girls and they all have a great time would you like to pass this message on if its ok with you of course…” she breathed again 🙂
I had so many thoughts rushing through my head… I was spinning, it was odd.
“She has no idea who I am, I could be some antagonistic pagan Dad anti church, thinking – ‘who is this young girl trying to get my daughter into some cult?'”
“She should know who I am and that I helped start this thing she is ringing about”
“Oh you are so full of pride you jerk Scott”
“Do I want my daughter to be a part of something that I walked away from, something that I question so much of its long term value?”
“What right do I have to choose for my daughter what she does and does not attend when it comes to church?”
“This upbringing did no harm to me” (that hasn’t taken a decade to unpack!!!)
So I took the note down.
I couldn’t help but press a bit further and ask her about small groups, ministry philosophy, core values, mission vision and doctrinal statements…ok not all of the above! 🙂
Then I thanked her for calling and hung up tingling, odd…life is odd.