Category Archives: thinking through

Is bigger better?

Is bigger better?  Read Walt Mueller’s blog about size.  Especially note his questions.

Something in my heart ached as I thought about how we?ve been socialized into doing youth ministry in the American church.

I think I get what he is trying to say.  My church is small, anyone missing is noticed.  I teach at a small school, when someone is out sick I usually notice.  Having small is essential, even the bigger churches get it to some extent, why else do they do ‘small groups’?  I listen to Doug Feilds podcast about youth ministry and the gang talks about ‘doing small group’ within the youth group and even with middle school youth group.  People need small to connect, without small there is no accountability and we all need it.  

Without small there is not suppers and long conversations with kids in the youth group talking about their deal.  If it’s all big, then they feel, and are, just another number in the big group.

How does that go along with my school.  We are low, we have capacity for ~125 and are at ~65 we want to be bigger, but should we be bigger?  What benefits do we have to being smaller?

Words of the hymns

How well do we listen to the words we sing? We recently sang this song in chapel at FMH and Nolan led this as a song to start the new year with and drew out attention to first line of the third verse, while life’s dark maze I tread, dark maze, this is a bit of how my life feels right now.

My faith looks up to thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Saviour Divine;
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly thine.

May thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire;
As thou hast died for me,
O may my love to thee
Pure, warm and changeless be,
A living fire.

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold, sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll,
Blest Saviour, then, in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul.

This hymn was written by Ray Palmer in the 1800’s just after his graduating from Yale University. I can understand the uncertainty he might have felt. I am endeavoring to walk by faith 2 Cor 5:7.

How often do we forget to think through the word of the hymns we sing. I’ve sung this hymn often enough I could sing it mostly through without the words in front of me, but can’t remember being struck by the message of the lines.

Life’s dark maze has inspired a picture in my mind. I see a black paper and a grey line maze, with the 2 Cor 5:7 and/or these words by Palmer.