Thursday, September 16, 2004

the YS forums

Every once in a while, I post or reply to the YS Forums. Most of the time, I do it with a large amount of reluctance. Of course, most of the dialogue I am creating or responding to is about student missions. And, similar to other aspects of my ministry experience, very few people there seem to get it.

For instance, I replied to a question about "Do any of you have any curriculum or an agenda that you go by during your pretrip meetings?" I described our 5 pre summer mission meetings that we had this year. Most of the replies were from people who were 'surprised' that we did some of those things. They seemed to think that we had done too much to prepare our students. Another reply, probably my favorite, was this one: "In a way, I tend to not put too much into prep, because I'd rather just sit back and let God work His power and magic during the week, and process afterward. Maybe it's just me........... "

Hmm. That's interesting. Actually I like that idea. When I take a test, I'll just decide not to study and let God do His work. When I get up to speak to students on a Sunday morning, why bother with the time to prepare? When I go to my engineering job, God will take care of all the details.

Actually though, it must be me. Aren't the students that we take on a mission trip deserving of some kind of preparation for the extraordinary experience we hope to give them? Is it fair to just wing it? What would the people who have fully supported our trip and our ministry think? Don't the cultures that we go to minister to have a right to see teams that are prepared to the best of our abilities? OK, enough, I could go on all day. Believe me, I'm all for God working. But I think when we deliberately decide not to prepare so that God will work... I don't see that anywhere in the Bible.

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