We needed it more than they did.

Good morning bloggers!
I am taking the morning to chill out and drink some coffee while I'm waiting for a meeting with Mikey B. He's leading worship at the Bridge while I'm away at the National Worship Leader's Convention (which, by the by, I will be live blogging from each and every day. Stay tuned!) So we're gathering together for lunch to get him caught up on how things go at the Bridge. But in the meantime, I am sitting at a Panera, on the comfy couches, drinking a delicious coffee beverage, and catching up on reading and blogging. But I hopped on because last night was one of the biggest affirmations of what I do that I've ever come across, and it came from an unexpected place:

Last night we had a Mario Kart tournament at the church. We hadn't seen the kids in a while, and this was probably the easiest event we could have possibly done. We ordered pizza, we set up the projector and the sound system, and made the brackets by random drawings. There was little effort put into the event itself at all. And that's what made it beautiful. Rather than pour our creative energies into the program, we poured them into the kids.

Countless books (including this one from Mark Devrie) tell us that youth ministry has to be less about the programs, and more about the relationships. Somewhere in the back of my brain I always agreed with people who said that, but I don't think I realized the power of such a philosophy until last night. We needed last night as much as the kids did I think. To have an opportunity to connect with kids again after months of sitting in our office trying to keep "busy" was refreshing. And again, we didn't spend any time working on talks, or planning games, or anything like that. We just turned on the Wii and hung out with the kids. And that was all we needed.

So to all my youth pastor friends out there swimming in the insanity that tends to be our summers, my encouragement would be to connect with your students this week. Maybe you do something simple like that where a bunch of people show up, or you call a kid up and take them out for a cup of coffee. Either way, enjoy time with the people God has asked you to minister to. I promise, you'll enjoy it more than they will anyway.