In order for this blog to be typed, I sat in front of (or is it behind?) a computer screen. In order for you to read this blog you are sitting sit in front of a computer screen. And in this “twitter-me-this” or “Facebook-me-that” culture, we find that teenagers are more connected to their social media outlets than human interaction. If you’ve ever been to any youth ministry training you have inevitably heard: “We should be where the teens are at.” So, obviously, technology is essential to our ministry to youth. Got it – loud and clear.
However, if you’re like me, it is easy to allow the time you spend with technology to greatly dominate the time you spend with people. Maybe it is time to work on our ING’s? Huh? I’m proposING a break from our daily routine with technology:
- WritING - I know it’s been since fourth grade since you’ve written anything with a pen, but send a letter to a teen telling them you’ll pray for them during finals. Or maybe send a letter to a parent affirmING them of their child’s faith.
- TalkING -Stop by the fellow staff office and build community by asking what their hopes for the new year are. Go to lunch with your maintenance person and get to know them (they might not rat you out the next time you leave the heater on all night).
- ReadING – Remember why you are in ministry. Start by focusing on the Lord and His life on this earth through the Gospels. Or read a newspaper as a reminder of why we need to bring hope to the world through Christ.
- CallING – Call up your Diocesan Director or a fellow Youth Minister and see what they might need prayers for. Do the same thing with a teen or parent. Phone conversations can be a lost art if we don’t foster it.
- CleanING – One of my personal favorites, there is something refreshing about organizing an office or youth closet. The sense of accomplishment will only enhance the desire for a productive rest of the day.
- PrayING – Rather than sitting in front of the computer screen sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament or a crucifix and pray. ”For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” – Saint Therese of Lisieux
As far as I recall St. Paul never told God, “You know how many more souls can be saved if my letters were emailed?” Or, “If only the Church in Corinth had their own Facebook group I could comment them all instantly!” And if St. Paul did not allow his email and computer to dictate the work he did nor should we. Just take a look at how much more he accomplished.