Saturday, November 30, 2013

7 Things That Never Happened

The Wesley UMC group posing in the gym we never got to use...
Since August 26 of 2009, this blog has existed to exalt the name of Jesus and to tell stories of people and events from throughout my 28 years of youth ministry and my life today. I want to switch things up a bit this morning and tell you about 7 Things that were advertised as events for students in my ministries over the years, but NEVER HAPPENED!  Here we go:

1)  Few people remember this now, but back in the late 70's and early 80's GROUP Magazine was actually a magazine for youth, not for youth leaders.  They also sponsored some big events for youth, and in 1982 I wanted to take a group of students from New Garden Friends Meeting to their National Youth Jamboree in Orlando.  I worked up an application, planned some fund-raisers and sent out the information.   A few youth even completed the application before I was told by the Youth Council that the trip could not be worked out.  It would have been great- but it never happened!

2)  In my very first summer brochure, at Springfield Friends Meeting in 1988, I described an event called the Big Burger Bash and Volleyball Exhibition Fundraiser (Whew!  Way too long a name...). We would sell burgers and drinks while teams of adults battled a team of youth for volleyball supremacy. It never happened, and I don't know why. I tried it again in the summer of '92- with the same results. You will see a pattern developing...

3)  While we did well in our on-going ministry serving at the soup kitchen in High Point, I never got the SFM gang on the road for a mission trip. In the summer of 1992 I set it up for us to go do some painting at my grandmother's home in Washington, NC. No one signed up. I tried it again the following summer, and this time 2 people signed up- still not enough to go. I am wondering - was I just that stubborn or just that committed?

4)  In 1995 at FUMC-K one of the big summer events was to be the Ben & Jerry's Basketball Challenge! Named after our own Ben Thacker and Jerry Hanbery (Neither of whom were noted for their skills on the court) this three-on-three tournament with bizarre rules would offer Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream to the winner. No one won, because we found no court to play on. We tried again in 1997 on an outdoor court, only to be rained out. "Never give up, never surrender!"   :)

******  Special Bulletin******  I am not sure we did anything I planned the two summers (2000-2001) I served the Union Church of Hinsdale.  Dick Nye, the senior pastor, told me to "get used to summers off..."

5)  Our big trip for the summer of 2003 from Wesley Memorial UMC in Tampa was to be a week at a Big Stuf Camp at Panama Beach, FL. We had a group all ready to go, only to discover the part of our church budget we planned to use for the trip was not there. It was no one's fault, the church just had no money. So we had to cancel. Never got to do the Big Stuf...

6)  In our 2004 summer brochure at Wesley Memorial, we planned several days of Gym Blasts, great play times in our brand new gymnasium. The same building would also be the home of our new youth room, and we planned some "hang out" time there as well. Alas, due to some really strange events and poor decisions, not only was that building not ready in 2004, it wasn't open in 2005 either. It is open now.

7)  In the summer of 2006 I was serving Trinity UMC in Waycross, GA. Every year since 1982 (except the Hinsdale years) I had taken groups to Atlanta to see the Braves play, and I scheduled one for '06 as well. The timing didn't work (band camp, or more likely, cheerleading camp) and it never happened. The one summer I worked in the state of Georgia I didn't get to see the Braves play- go figure!

So there they are. Most of them would have been great events, but it just was not meant to be. Youth Ministry is full of mysteries, mishaps and malfunctions. But without stepping out, without risk and envelope-pushing ideas, youth ministry stops being effective. These were just a few of the things that were planned but didn't happen. There are about 1000 posts on this blog about the wonderful things that did. I count them all as blessings!

Because of Jesus,

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