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A little of this, a little of that

Snapshot of the last few weeks: trip to St. Louis, trip to Oklahoma, trip to middle of nowhere Kansas for camp, lots of organizing, meetings, phone calls, coffee, lunches, emails, writing, editing...

And the beat goes on. Even in the next few days there will be several more meetings, more planning, writing 15 pages of paper, hopping across the country on airplanes, driving to old places in the deep south, seeing old friends...

But even with the madness of all of this stuff I still can't help but constantly remember that I am living a pretty extraordinary life. Like I've said before, I'm getting to live a life that only a few get to. I have a career that allows me to make a living doing things that I love to do. And I work with people that are very supportive. And in a place that actually embraces what I and others like me are doing. I'm headed over to the dining center tomorrow with an army of other campus ministers to have lunch with the university's Student Life staff. KSU works hard to embrace the campus ministries - even so far as having a staff person whose only job is being a liaison between campus ministries and the university. I recognize that all these things together make life relatively cushy for me right now and I want to not ever take that for granted or feel entitled to that.

That is why my hat is off big time to those, some of whom I know, that work so hard under continually adverse conditions. Men and women who believe so much in the mission of campus ministry but live and and work in places where that is not understood or supported. Those who work other jobs full time, sometimes jobs that they don't enjoy, but still give hours upon hours of work to campus ministry. People who are working hard to start ministries and to pull the vision together in places where it has never been before. Campus ministers who have gone full time in the work but raise every penny of their salary. These, and many others, are the people who are often unknown but truly work under the power of faith. These are the people that make me realize that in many ways I have a silver spoon feeding me. These are the "real men of genius."

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Speaking of campus ministry, I spent all last week at the Silver Maple Camp in Kansas, which is a middle and high school church camp. It was great and I remembered what I loved about camp, and I loved the kids and made new friends among other counselors. But it was also a clear reminder that youth ministry is not my calling. I think that many don't understand the world of difference between youth and campus ministry, despite the relatively small age difference. Thus, some ministers and workers in some local churches are given charge of youth and campus, which is a recipe for disaster for most. There really is a thick invisible wall that separates the mind of the high schooler and the world of the college student, and once passed through it is a whole new world. I think this is why there is often very little association between youth and campus ministries in the same congregation. The two simply do not mix well for some reason, which is not necessarily a bad thing or anybody's fault, it's just the way it is. This does not make one better than the other either, just different. Maybe someday I'll be able to explain just exactly what that difference is. I deeply admire those who are continually effective at youth ministry.

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This may be the last you hear from me until after my adventures in Tennessee and Alabama. Hopefully I'll be good and spend the next few days getting the rest of my pressing stuff done plus writing that honking paper. So long for now.


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Blogger Matthew Vaughan - 1:22 PM

Wow, Cary. I am wicked impressed at KSU's stance on spirituality on campus. That is surprising and encouraging.

Think of me as you pass through the muggy forests of Alabama.

Talk to you soon.    



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