Since it is Tuesday, however, I am especially thankful for a specific group of people. Every Tuesday for nearly 16 years, I have met regularly with a group of youth ministers, serving various Henderson churches.
We’ve had a variety of meeting spots and meeting times. Back in the day, when the Henderson McDonalds were trying out their McDiner concept, we met there for breakfast after most of us went to the local middle and high schools to meet with students. We met for 11 a.m. prayer at our various churches for a good span of time. We transitioned to lunch a few years back, and then made the switch back to breakfast/coffee. Today we met at Donut Bank, but next week, we’ll be at Eastgate Restaurant, and then at Planters downtown the following week.
When we meet, we share stories from our lives, seek advice or prayer for various life or ministry circumstances, and we pray together. We don’t meet for official business or planning, although occasionally we do attempt to tackle a project together. We meet because we love each other and we understand some common struggles and we have committed to praying for each other, ministry and personal lives alike. These people have prayed with me on my hardest, darkest days, and they have celebrated with me on my best ones. When times have been hard or when times have been good, at work or with family, I know I can tell them like it is and they will mourn or laugh with me appropriately and I know that they will always care about either thing and pray with me through it. We love to meet students who belong to each other’s churches so we can tell them how we know their youth minister.
Our callings are unique, our church doctrines differ in small ways or big ways, our gifts are varied, and we are all at different points in our lives or our ministries. I wouldn’t know how to do any of this without them, and I’m so thankful for them.
The cups today belonged to Charlie, Steve, and Doug, but there were some cups missing. And there are some friends I miss because they have moved on, either to another type of work or another location.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. –Philippians 1:3-11