Yep. The minute I wrote it I said, “That’s a dirty word.” At least was to me for many years. What was that word? **** Trigger warning**** , about to say a dirt word: Maintenance.
I was finishing my calendar for next year and was reading it over,; and I wrote the word Maintenance in the top right hand corner and through my pen down in disgust. But, was I right? Was maintenance such dirty word to me?
For years, in my mind, maintenance meant average, to simply get by. It was the opposite of what I wanted in youth ministry which was change and growth. A closer look at the word maintanance revealed this
preserve, conserve, keep, retain, keep going, keep alive, keep up, prolong, perpetuate, sustain, carry on, continue
provide with necessities for life or existence.
Wow! My calendar is suddenly looking pretty good!
Let me put this in football terms
It’s like when they say a quarter back is a game manager. Here in SEC land it was thrown around like a curse word because the quarterback didn’t do anything exciting or sexy. Every play cannot and should not be a Hail Mary. To win games, their must be a combination of passes, runs, punts, kick offs and the occasional trick play.
[bctt tweet=”It’s not the quarterbacks job to entertain the the crowd, but to win the game.” username=””]
If the quarterback’s play and the crowds excitement line up, then that’s great; but if the quarterback simply wins the game, there seems to be a lack of enthusiasm. He won the game! That’s his job! Yeah, be it wasn’t very exciting. You are missing the point. Being a game manager is not a dirty word. Being a game manager is a path to miracles. We love the big play because we’ve sat through a dozen running plays, a few dump offs and a punt or two.
I thought about Jesus ministry. It’s recorded in the scripture that Jesus performed 37 miracles. Jesus’ earthly ministry was three years long. That’s 1,095 days (36 months). If you divide that by 37 miracles you have about one miracle a month. What did Jesus do the rest of the time? He maintained.
I keep in mind John’s words
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25
Jesus could have done a miracle a day, but that’s an assumption not fact. I also keep in mind the times where Jesus could do no miracles,
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. Mark 6:5
Jesus wanted to do more, but was limited by the lack of faith of the people.
As youth workers, we are hamstrung by the faith of our kids, parents, and church. We can only do what people believe we can do. We can only pull off the big event or launch the cool whatever if we have the faith of the people. The good news is, we are not in charge of the miracles. God is. Our role is to do maintenance, in every sense of the word.
Keep the group alive. Keep it going. Carry on. Keep feeding it with those things that it requires to stay alive until the miracles come.
What do you think of when you heart he word maintenance?
Does knowing it;s real meaning give you hope that you are doing the right thing?
Des known this take any pressure off you to perform the miracles yourself?