Thursday, November 18, 2004

St. Benedict's Youth Group pt. 2

"As often as anything especial is to be done in the monastery, the abbot shall call together the whole congregation, and shall himself explain the question at issue. And, having heard the advice of the brethren, he shall think it over by himself, and shall do what he considers most advantageous. . " - The Rule, "About Calling in the Brethren to Take Council"

I really liked this passage when I read it this week. Although the abbot, whom I imagine as a very wise sort, is the spiritual leader and administrator of the abby, still he is mindful to call all the monks together to discuss issues of the community.

I see this speaking to the youth pastor as abbot in a way that allows a youth group to really be empowered to be the incarnated body of christ when it comes to "doing ministry" together. So much of my past youth ministry has been me planning events, service, and study "for" my youth. Obviously I've been the man with the mission to help my kids grow in faith.

Although my passion is to see them grow in faith- what I take from this passage is how youth ministry is not about the youth director anymore than the monestary is about the abbot and the vision of the abbot. Youth ministry is about a group of people creating a community that runs counter to the world. Everyone in this community has a place and something to offer.

I have discovered that some of my best moments of Youth Ministry have been when I've opened decisions and direction of our group up to the youth. In fact they've never let me down.

Interestingly enough Benedict doesn't say that the abbot decides in favor of the community's opinion every time, in fact the abbot after asking for direction from the whole community, takes aside some of the elders of the monestary and talks seriously with them. Then through prayer the abbot makes decisions.

I think we call this discernment- what a novel way to function as a youth group.

Thank you again Benedict.

No comments: