Last year, SPACE kind of took a break around the holidays. This year is no different. I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I enjoy the time with not much going on. On the other hand, I'm restless. In a third sense, I feel like we aren't redeeming the time, that we are letting it slip away.
I remember last year feeling like we didn't do enough during the holidays. Ironically enough, for a ministry whose sole purpose is to engage kids in serving and mission, we had little to show for it. Little to show for it during a time when people are most sensitive and receptive to engagement about giving, sacrifice and service.
There are practical reasons for the slow down. First, it's a really busy time of the year. I always feel bad about asking small group leaders to come 'do' one more thing during the holidays. These are the guys and gals that meet with kids every week, all through the year. To lump one more thing for them to do during the Christmas season could be a bit unfair and insensitive. Not to mention, they have jobs, spouses, kids, etc. I know when I led a small group, another event during the holidays would have been a bit much.
Secondly, it's hard to find the right project. Last year, we adopted a bunch of needy families from a local school and delegated those families to student small groups. Some of the groups worked well, some didn't. Some delivered their stuff on time and to the right place, others didn't. Part of it was just the organizational logistics, part of it is finding a project with the right essence.
This year, unfortunately, I'm feeling the same way. We did encourage student small groups to do the Samaritans Purse project. And on Saturday, we are meeting with the SPACE crew members (although most of them can't make it) to buy, wrap and possibly deliver some gifts to needy families from the same elementary school as last year. But other than that, I'm left with the same gnawing, neglectful, "we've wasted another Christmas season" feeling. It's a drag. It's a drag, because it's true.
Dang. So next year, it won't be three years in a row.