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Discerning Ministry with Teens: Part 2

by Jenifer C. Gamber

Remember Buechner’s quote:

“The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

In yesterday’s post we explored one’s deep gladness. Today is an exercise to explore the world’s deep hunger and compare the two.

Throughout the Bible we learn about God’s dream for the world. Isaiah 65:19-25 in the Old Testament tells us about a heaven and a new earth. There shall be no weeping or cry of distress. People will live long lives. The people will live in houses they build and eat the fruit that they sow. People are treated fairly. Jesus, in the New Testament, calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, release the prisoner and provide housing to the homeless. This is God’s dream.

We often think of participating in God’s dream by volunteering at homeless shelters, stocking food pantries and donating money to agencies that help the poor. And these are important and necessary. Ministry does not stop there. Our very career choices are ministry too. Doctors heal the sick. Psychologists help people release themselves from barriers to psychological health. Construction workers build houses and bankers work to provide financing to businesses that contribute to society.  A politician contributes to social structures that govern communities.

Seeing these as ministry changes how we view them and informs the choices we make in our jobs.  A politician who is participating in God’s dreams works toward passing fair laws. A construction worker participates in building sound housing. God calls us to ground every choice in faith and the last three of our baptismal promises provide a roadmap to do so.

Celebrant Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God’s help.

Return to the list you made in step one. How does that activity fulfill a baptismal promise? How can how you act in those activities fulfill them?

Each of us is called to partner with God to birth a new creation.

At the close of youth group, read the Post Communion Prayer on page 365 of the Book of Common Prayer, a prayer we say every week after being fed with heavenly food. Ministry is largely outside the doors and walls of the church.

How do you engage youth in mission outside the church?

© 2013. Jenifer Gamber has been involved in Christian formation since she began teaching Sunday school as a teenager.  The author of My Faith, My Life and Your Faith, Your Life for adults, she is a popular speaker on the topics of spirituality, prayer, and teen faith formation. Her website, offers a wealth of resources for adults who work with youth. Her most recent book is Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People.

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