Past and Future…………………….Amanda Burke

So, I’ve been in this new ministry for about 2 and a half months now.  It has been a whirlwind ride . .. . meeting people, remembering names, preparing for special services I’ve never attended before, figuring out where I fit in and beyond.  In all of this I’m being educated on the history of this 130-year-old congregation.  Every congregation has its highs and lows.  However, I find that some people get stuck with what should have been, what was missing, or where things were lacking.  All of the history and tradition is extremely valuable as long as we remember that it is important to look forward.

One low is that this congregation has not had a high rate of young people attending worship services.  It is part of the past and present, but from my vantage point as a new leader, I want to ask how does this affect our vision for the future.  It could used as an obstacle, a negative presence, affecting the attitudes we have toward the involvement of young people in the congregation.

This reality could be also seen as a great mission field in our small community.  If we continue to give youth the message that we know they will not be involved because youth never have been in the past and expect the same results, they will respond according to those subtle messages.  In turn, if there is a message that we hope and will work to a future where youth are an integral part of this community, then there is a vision.  God can do great things with people who are open to God’s vision of ministry in the world.

One of the faith assets states – Strives for Excellence: sets high standards, evaluates, and engages in continuous improvement.  What is the driving force behind seeking excellence?  Is it only to escape seemingly negative realities of the past, or is it to seek out a vision for the future rooted in God’s mission.  I’m hoping to help them go there.

Amanda Burke had been doing youth ministry for 10½ years at one church and now for two and a half months at new/old church.

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