Monday, September 12, 2011
I'm not a mother, obviously. Nor am I a parent, but I am a son ... and I know that look, tone and disfigurement that MY mom used to get when I was irritating the mess out of her. That "I swear if you keep pushing I'm going to straight up bite you in half" kinda look.
I think I might have spotted that look about 1000 times this past weekend.
No I wasn't trapped on an island with my mother, I was at Night Of Joy. The disfigured faces, with the scowl and crooked finger, weren't donning the wicked witch outfits either ... they were employees ... disfigured from the thousands of tyrant like youth groups ... and I don't blame them ... I might have worn the mask that night a few times myself.
My wife and I were in line, surrounded by teens and their leaders. We know from past experiences what to expect on the NOJ nights ... so we weren't surprised. Like a pack of hybrid banshee parrots, they square off. One youth group against another, their love for "Jesus" and then throwing the challenge back "how about you?!" ... and then the random yelling of something that solidified that they were some sort of parrot hybrid ... "Hello!! ... HELLO!!". Then, as if on queue, the pushing started. Some of the older, more mature youth decided the line wasn't moving at the pace they were used to. Needless to say ... I put that mask on. As we approached the cast member in charge of placing us in our designated areas ... I could tell he was wearing the mask ... the cast member who instructed us on how NOT to ride the ride ... wore the mask as well ... Even the cast member who really just pushed the button to start the ride ... you guessed it ... masked
I knew this would happen ...
It happens every year (that I know of).
The forcefully rude and belligerent hybrid banshee/parrots have ruined Night Of Joy
But should I take this rant to focus on the undisciplined, out-of-control pubescent miniature adults? ...... or their leaders?
By the end of the last NOJ night, Tobymac was on stage singing about "Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city" and all that was running through my already embarrassed, fully frustrated mind is ... "'Frustrate them like Jesus' might be the slogan for next year"
Now let me clarify. This animosity isn't directed at the hordes of rambunctious kids, I was one ... I know how it is.
It's directed towards their leaders.
It feels as if, in the last few years, "Leadership" and "Christianity" have interwoven themselves ... Even though I don't think they should (which is a blog in and of itself) nonetheless it needs to be recognized. If in this trend of "building better leaders", we should see better leaders.
Forgive me if I'm folding bad leaders in with great leaders but, I did not see 1 real good leader of the said "rambunctious kids" at NOJ.
From Space Mountain to The Haunted Mansion, you couldn't escape that "scowled" face from the "Most Magical of Employees" ... They were literally screaming at kids to "Stay in their seats, Keep your hands in the boat, please don't throw things, no yelling in line please" ...
Where are their leaders?
Setting an example for them, showing them discipline, exuding a Christ-like respect and servant attitude to those who are SERVING THEM?
To put it bluntly, I don't think Paul when saying "I become all things to all people, that I might win some" was giving leaders permission to "become like rambunctious, disrespectful youth groupers that you might win some" ... because I'm sure based on whatever I saw at NOJ, you didn't win any ... if anything you irritated them into the opposite direction.
Bottom line is this.
Leaders, step up and take care of your youth group.
Parents, don't expect your leaders to carry all the weight.
Take care of the testimony you carry.
Take care of those who are serving you.
Keep in mind that even though it's expected at the "Christian Night"
That thousands of hybrid banshee parrots are attending and will likely be ... well ... you know.
It doesn't need to go without good leadership.
Until Next Time,