For the month of June we’ve had “Youth Bible Study” at my church on Tuesday mornings.
The first week, two youth showed up.
I had not been able to talk with these two youth apart from the rest of the group, like, ever. It was God’s gift (to me, and I hope to them as well), to be able to spend time with these two youth and share about life and God’s love and grace in the midst of life’s struggles.
The next two weeks we had more youth show up and the gathering had a fuller feel to it; but again, today, one youth showed up. It could have been awkward; I’ve definitely been there before. But today, there wasn’t a moment of silence the entire first hour of our time together. We laughed and ate doughnuts; we talked about life and briefly explored the book of Ecclesiastes; and we even got to learn how to use a water spigot key.
This afternoon I had a meeting that had been scheduled a month ago and yesterday I almost cancelled the meeting because I wasn’t feeling great. (two more days until vacation!) I was feeling unprepared for the call, and I knew that at least one person wouldn’t be able to make it.
As soon as I got on the call, the first person to show up shared about an issue that had just come up in her ministry – an issue that I have been struggling with for a month now in mine. I had been feeling so alone in my struggle, like, “after twenty years of being in ministry I should be able to figure this out.” To hear her speak about having the same struggle was so incredibly life-giving – to know that I wasn’t alone. That the issue wasn’t ME.
In her sharing I was reminded that I’m not alone in dealing with a systemic issue that is plaguing many people in ministry right now. More so, the next few people that popped on the call were able to offer support and encouragement to both of us and also pointed out that it was a shared struggle.
My point in sharing this is to celebrate a lesson I learned from a workshop on “how to lead a good meeting.”
Whoever shows up is exactly who needs to be there.
Today I celebrate
- one-on-one conversations that otherwise wouldn’t be able to happen
- making or nurturing connections with a small group of people
- letting go of the agenda or ideas of what would be most productive
- those who are supportive and encouraging when a colleague is struggling
- simply being present with whomever shows up.