Thursday, June 28, 2012
On July 9, I will have been sober for 13 years and the only step I needed was to follow Jesus Christ. But, oh the stories I could tell and have told the young men I see every day. I’ve told them so many times that they actually tell them better. However, our summer staff gets it the worst as they hear those stories again for the benefit of the new staff. For training there’s always new faces eager to hear how to tackle inner city youth ministry and, much to the chagrin of the veteran staff members, every year I share the life principles I learned from living fast and experiencing the “no bar too far”, “we drive at five” culture. So, in teaching them how to handle difficult parents who think their $45 payment for six weeks of camp entitles them to tell us how games should be played or what kind of counselor is best for their kid, I use Patrick Swayze’s Roadhouse model of management. Step 1: Be nice. Step 2: Take it outside. Step 3: Call the “Cooler”.
Now I must admit, my ego gets a bit of a boost every summer as I envision myself with Patrick Swayze hair dealing with hard cases. However, this year, the Lord led me to new heights of creativity by using a young man nicknamed Kunta. He asked me why my favorite word was “bud”. That’s what I call everybody— “Hi Bud!”, “What’s up buddy?”, “See ya later, buddy.”, etc. So, as I shared our mission for camp of “Building Character, Unlocking Eternity, & Directing” with the summer staff, I thought to myself, “If the Lord can find a redeeming way to use the phrase, ‘This Bud’s for You!’, anything or anyone can be redeemed.”
So, this summer, please pray that our workers search high and low, deep and wide for those redeeming parts which are sometimes hidden in the lives of the community we serve.