Saturday, January 29, 2005

It's ok to be odd

Up to about two years ago, I had a pretty mainstream ministry experience. I had a little over fourteen years of experience as a volunteer youth worker, with your average student ministry experiences including running small groups (which was the majority of my experience), retreats, camping ministries, summer camps, mission trips. You know the drill.
And then in the Spring of 2003, this idea of student missions hit me really hard. Not that I had never thought about it - heck, I had ran two 6 week long mission trips for students in my experience. But this time, it hit me with more force, more compulsion, more passion than ever before. That process led to a proposal I wrote for our student ministry, which led me to where we are at today.
I realize more than ever that I'm at a pretty unique - and awesome - place. I've got this role in our ministry that has never been there before. The support of other people that help in the ministry has been incredible. The response to our students has been crazy. We are trying out new forms of mission and service that have never been attempted before, and God is blessing them. Kids are serving, growing together, learning to live life on mission.
I also realize that I'm at a pretty unique place within student ministry in general. I don't think there are a lot of people focusing on what I'm focusing on with students in general. Sure, we have a lot of mission boards that have youth pieces. We have parachurch ministries that cater to only student missions. There are tons of youth pastors that run summer missions. But I've yet to really find people that are the resource for their local church when it comes to providing missional experiences strictly for students. I'm an oddball. And that's okay. I've known from the time I was a little kid that I'm a little strange. In a good way. Or so I tell myself.
I'm just reminded of this as I read the categories for the Evangelical Blog Awards:
Best Overall Evangelical Blog
Best Designed Evangelical Blog
Best Evangelical Blog-Politics
Best Evangelical Blog-Ministry
Best International Evangelical Blog
Best Domestic Evangelical Blog (U.S.)
Best Evangelical Blog-Apologetics
Best Evangelical Blog-Pastor
Best New Evangelical Blog
Best Evangelical Blog-Humor
Best Evangelical Missionary Blog
Best Evangelical Youth Pastor Blog
Best Evangelical Group Blog
Best Evangelical Teen Blog

It's funny. I am an odd ball. And I REALLY like it that way.

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