A Word from our Family and Young Adult Minister

Rev. Naomi is on renewal leave. This month’s article is by Minister Chai.

Dear Friends,
The other day, in a sermon, I have shared about my first Bazaar experience, and how it seemed like a miracle. The miracle that I have likened the Bazaar to was the feeding of the five thousand with two fish and five loaves of bread (Mark 6:30-44). With the sharing of the little they had, the disciples could see a miracle, and similarly by sharing the resources we have, and our efforts, we have pulled off a miracle of producing food for more than a couple of thousand people. In addition to that parallel, I have drawn a few insights from the miracle for our ministry at large. To recap, like the disciples who were able to recognize the need to feed the people, I suggested that the first step in any ministry is to recognize the need. Of course, recognizing the need alone won’t help; but as Jesus suggested to the disciples, we need to respond to the need, which is the second step in ministry. Finally, when the disciples had to respond, they started focusing on what they didn’t have. But Jesus asked them to focus on what they have – two fish and five loaves of bread in this case, and with that they did the miracle. The third step in ministry, therefore, is to focus on the resources that we have, rather than to focus on what we don’t have.

All those are important steps or aspects in ministry, and in different ways we have been following those steps. Yet, there is one more aspect that I haven’t highlighted, which I think is significant, especially in the light of what we are doing during the summer in our family and young adult ministry. That aspect comes from verse 31 of Mark 6: Jesus said to the disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Earlier in the chapter, we learn that the disciples did many things on their ministry projects, and they were excited to share those things with Jesus, but Jesus was asking them to go with him to a deserted place and rest for a while. It seems to me that Jesus is asking the disciples to rest and renew themselves before they embark on their next leg of the journey.

I would like to interpret it as Jesus saying to the disciples to take time to reflect. Instead of keeping on doing what they have started doing, the disciples were asked to step back, relax and reconsider their mission. That is what exactly we, at the Youth and Family Ministry Council, are doing during this summer. During the past six months, we have been involved in many activities, like Turkey lock-in, Turkey luncheon, Udon luncheon, Sunday school re-structuring, and Communications workshop. That is all good, but we are striving to be better. Therefore, we are halting for a moment and looking back to look forward. We are taking time to recognize and reorganize our needs, strategize ways to respond to those needs, and to reaffirm the resources that we have and the resources that we are.

We have a light within ourselves that we cannot contain, and we want it to shine bright for our church and for the communities around us. I would appreciate your prayers as we are equipping ourselves for that purpose. May God bless us all with a restful and rejuvenating summer! – Chai