The other day, I (Alvin) read an article in New York Magazine called “Meet the Adults Who Love to Color”. The premise of the article was that many adults are re-exploring the art of colouring, and in some ways, re-living moments from their childhood. It got me thinking about youth ministry.
Youth ministry can be characterized as chaotic, intensive, deep, social or impulsive. Some envision high-ropes courses, while others think of soul-digging conversations around a Bible. Not often do we think of the “play” of youth ministry. I’m not talking about the pranks or the games. I’m referring to those moments when we get to just play. Where we enjoy some of that impulsive and inquisitive freedom that so easily entranced us as kids. Where everything seemed like a wonder, yet to be discovered. Sometimes, we (i.e., society both on a macro and micro level) rush our kids to grow up, to develop and mature at a rate than brushes childhood aside. Perhaps we’ve done them a disservice in that rush.
I’m not suggesting that we remove all programming and just play in youth ministry. But perhaps, in the lighter moments of a ministry season, we should simply play (whether it’s board games or in the park). Maybe this summer, as a youth group, just go and play together. It’s in those moments that we might remember what it’s like to receive Jesus like a child (Mark 10:14-15).