Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Burden Shared

I struggle with how much I should do for students. My "official" duties and responsibilities say I am to "plan and organize yearly student activities with students." There is a huge word I see here: WITH. This says nothing about doing these activities FOR students. I need to come alongside of students to partner WITH them in the things that we do every year.

Not that this happens or would happen in this way, but I want to consider a hypothetical situation so I can think out loud. Suppose I see a planned activity, broomball, coming up pretty soon. We need to make sure it least I would like it to happen, as I am sure students would like it to happen too. I make the announcement that it will happen on X day, according to the plans set by myself and a group of students before the semester began. I call the place to reserve the rink. I pass around a sign-up sheet and communicate that the cost is determined by the number of people going, but it will be somewhere around $15 at most. When the date arrives, we hop in the vans that I filled up with gas earlier that day, go to the place, have a great time, pay up, come home, and let our bruises and soreness heal for a couple of days.

I wonder if what I just described fulfills my duties and responsibilities of planning and organizing events WITH students. I must say that I don't think I am living up to this part of my "job" description. I am doing it by myself and not with students. But, what do I do? I could just do nothing and put students to a test they don't know they are taking. What would it look like it I just didn't do anything? I again would not be planning and organizing events WITH students...the students would be doing it. To be honest, I am not even sure that the event would happen. Perhaps it would, but I really don't think it would. Doing nothing doesn't seem to be an viable doesn't give students a chance to grow. Or does it?

Somehow, I would like to help students feel the burden of ministry while they are students. This is part of discipleship training that will lead to involvement in the church when they leave college. Perhaps a tangible lesson on a smaller scale will communicate effectively what I am trying to convey to students.

I will do this tonight during class. I have communicated to the whole group that I will be teaching the class on Wed nights. Part of the class is singing. Usually we have a PowerPoint put together. There is also usually a brief time of announcements. Tonight I will just come to class, sit down, talk with students, and wait. I won't even pass out the announcement sheet like I usually do. However long it takes, that is how long it takes. I imagine someone saying, "Are we going to get started?" To this I will say something like, "Sure." and continue sitting there. I will just let time pass (at least until everyone stops talking). At some point, I will just be the one who starts asking questions about what just happened. I don't know if someone will just start songs or if there will be prayers or scripture readings or anything tonight. But whatever happens, I hope my questions will lead our students to feel the burden of ministry on a larger scale. I hope to ask questions about what my "job" is or what it "should" be in their minds. I hope to ask questions about what their "job" is or what it "should" be in their minds. I will probably bring up my duties and responsibilities as a campus minister that I talked about above.

I'm kindof excited about what will happen. I guess we will see. This semester seems to be turning into a time of foundation building more in the direction I was imagining before I started working in Huntsville last summer.

No comments: