Part of the ministry of Just Jesus Ministries is assisting churches with youth ministry development. As I work with these churches one underlying theme constantly comes up and that is “being intentional.” When we plan church events too often we think that just keeping them off of the streets is enough. All we are trying to do is to keep them out of trouble. I personally don’t think that is enough.
As Christians we think that ministry opportunities just “happen.” And truth be known sometimes they do, but most often we miss opportunity after opportunity to meet someone’s needs or to minister to them in some small way because we simply are not intentional. We are not out there looking for those opportunities.
As couples we have the mistaken belief when we get married that we will always be in love; that we will always feel those warm fuzzies toward each other. (Side note: those warm fuzzies are not love, they are an occasional symptom of it. But that is another column.) Once, I even heard a deacon of a church I was attending say, “I told my wife I loved her when I married her, and if I change my mind I will tell her.” We think that love will always be there, but it won’t be unless we are intentional and find ways to keep that flame burning!
As parents we think that as long as our children are not in trouble they are good kids; that they will be just fine and become upstanding young citizens. We think that dropping them off at church will teach them about God. We believe that dropping them off at school with complete their education. We think that they will somehow figure out how to treat a girl or what to require in a relationship with a boy through osmosis; it will just somehow seep in through their pores. But none of that will happen with our children unless we are intentional.
We must make time to talk with them and listen to them. We must make special time with each of our children. We must look for opportunities to bring up certain topics such as dating, sex, religion, and the future. We need to be intentional with our spouses and go out on dates, spend time talking once the children are all in bed, and yes- even be intentionally intimate.
Being unintentional is killing us! We think that we can just drift through life and let it all “just happen” around us. I hate to pop your bubble, but it doesn’t work like that. That isn’t living; that is simply existing! And most people won’t put up with that, at least not for long. Don’t believe me? Just look at the divorce rate!
Think of all the opportunities you have missed out on already with your wife, your husband, your kids, even your friends simply because you were not intentional.
So, get out there and make plans to be intentional. Guys, call us your wives and ask them out on a date. Parents, go do something with each of your children, individually and as a family. Let’s quit existing along side each other and start living; let’s be intentional!