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To Get People Involved

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The strongest message that I would bring and am bringing into my Parish and Youth Group would also be the message Br Paul and Ben really emphasised during the two days - to get people involved. You see, in leadership elsewhere, leaders are put on a pedestal to organise within themselves as a committee, carry out their work behind the scenes and eventually be seen to be more superior and important than the people they work for.

I remember that the first presentation Br Paul showed us completely and utterly shattered that image. He poured water into a stone basin and music played as Father Paul gently washed his feet and then proceeded to recount the part of the Gospel when Jesus washes the feet of His disciples. We were called to be 'servant leaders', serving the community, involving others, seeking to evangelise and confront even the weakest and most vulnerable parts in ourselves and in others. For me, that was like what the sound of a police siren would be to a speeding motorist - a sudden wake up call and reminder of what youth ministry in the Parish and in our church, is meant to be like. I sat there, humbled yet determined, knowing there was so much more to be done.


I guess another important observation I made during the two days were the people I met at the program. In our Parish, there were many who would 'retire' from their youth ministry once they became busy with work and more concerning, once they felt they were 'too old' for Youth Group. As I looked around me in the lounge room, many of the Youth Ministers were way past their 20s, going on to their 30s and way beyond that too. Age is not an excuse and as my friend Phyllis says, Youth Ministry is a life-long formation.

And as I reflected upon everything I learnt in those two days, from mediation, liturgy, responsibilites in the Parish to things I experienced like the wonderful Mass, lighting of candles, prayers for the asylum seekers, the symbolic gift of the clean towels at the conclusion as well as the beautiful music, I realised something very special. That we're all in this not for ourselves, but for the people of God, for the glory of God and because we've found our calling in our Youth Ministry. Happily, I respond.

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