Thursday, August 15, 2013

Planning So It's Not About You?

I'll say it. I like to plan. I know there's got to be at least one other youth pastor who likes to plan. If you know who he is, tell him about my blog.

I like to spend a portion of each summer planning out the next school year for my youth ministry. For me, this means planning out 9 month-long teaching themes and several of the bigger and yearly events. This planning has several advantages.

  1. I can get a wide angle view of what I'm attempting to teach.
  2. It's a lot easier to look for videos, stories, illustrations, etc. in batches than week by week.
  3. It allows me to be flexible when changes come.
It's this third point that is often the best, and the worst, aspect of any planning. In fact, I'll even put forth that, for anyone planning anything for any length of time, this is the best and worst aspects.

Assuming you agree that planning for something is better than not planning, I'm going to go ahead and explain why I think the flexibility allowed is the worst. Flexibility is normally something that is a valued trait, especially when we're looking for people to flexible with us. 

When it involves having other people change their plans, I'm uber-flexible. But when it comes to my plans, well, what's the type-written equivalent of mumbling? Making plans is akin to building a Lego set with my son, which I've done a few times. 

Can you do lots of things with Legos? Yes. Do I want someone taking the Legos I just built something with and making something else out of those blocks? Absolutely not! I planned. I dreamed. I worked. I built.

But do you see what I just wrote? I, I, I. 

No matter what we're doing in life, we can't make it about us. Because then the plans will become more important than other people. Flexibility is lost when we hold our plans too closely, as if they directly from God and chiseled on a tablet. 

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