Close

Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Busy, Burnt, or Just Don’t Buy It

12 Nov Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Busy, Burnt, or Just Don’t Buy It
Busy, Burnt, or Just Don’t Buy It
 

During my middle and high school years, I attended a large Christian camp one week each summer. While I have fond memories of giant earth ball games and the zipline that sent me flying over the lake, I reflect often on the ways that I was challenged during those formative summer experiences. One summer in particular, the speaker talked a lot about community and the importance of having intimate relationships with other Christians. In particular, he stressed the need for an “accountability partner,” which is Christian code for “someone to tell all the bad stuff you did last week.” At the conclusion of the camp, my best friend and I agreed to enter into this kind of tell all relationship with each other.

piccanoe

A few days after camp, we met up at his house, went to his room, sat on the floor, and braced ourselves for what each other had to say. I can still remember him saying … “Alright Josh, you go first.”

“Why do I have to go first?” I thought. You tell me all your junk, and then I’ll spill my dirt.  Needless to say, we resisted sharing that night and the rest of the summer.

If you’re reading this post, then I would venture to say that you agree that you need other Christians in your life – maybe not an awkward “accountability partner” but a circle of trusted people to share life with. We know that it can be a life-giving, transformative experience. We know God has wired us for relationships. But all of us, tend to resist it for one reason or another.

As I’ve thought about it and talked to others with similar experiences, I’ve noticed some themes of resistance, reasons why we tend to keep things to ourselves rather than sharing with others.

Maybe you’re too busy. Between family, work, and life in general, you don’t feel like you have the margin for another person or group.  Just the thought of committing a night or morning each week exhausts you.

Maybe you’ve been burnt. You joined a small group or began meeting with an older person from church for breakfast, but something happened. It turned sideways and now you have a hard time opening yourself back up to others.

Or maybe you just don’t buy it anyone. At one time you believed that we could live like Acts 2 Christians, and maybe you even experienced it, but now you’re discouraged and retreating back to a “me and God” kind of faith.

picmatches

So where are you? Do you find yourself resonating with any of those tendencies? Busy? Burnt? Not buying it?

Whether you find yourself in a season of busyness or coming out of an experience that’s burned you, it’s okay to be honest about the hesitation, to admit your resistance. Just don’t let yourself stay in that place too long. While relationships can be demanding, and can even wound us, they’re also the environment in which we most fully experience God’s love and healing.

Sometimes it feels odd to remind youth workers of that truth, but perhaps we need to hear it most of all.

If you’d like to go deeper with this subject, here are two resources that I’ve found helpful:

The Search To Belong: Rethinking Intimacy, Community, and Small Groups

Breaking Barriers: The Possibilities of Christian Community In A Lonely World

Josh Rhodes
NextGen Pastor at LCBC Church
Josh is the Next Steps Director at LCBC Church, York Campus. Prior to LCBC, he served at Chestnut Ridge Church in Morgantown, WV. Josh received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministries from Lancaster Bible College, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Biblical Seminary. He and his wife Hillary live in Lancaster with their three children - Sephora, Levi, and Pierce.