Monday, March 14, 2005

The ABC's of Youth Ministry

Everyone knows that youth ministers in their first year are somewhat cocky and arrogant. Oh, sure...we might be a little scared that this is our first job and we are still "learning the ropes," but generally we KNOW that the teens like us because we are still young and we are "COOL."
This was my situation in my first year...I thought I was up on all the teen "lingo." I was sure I was still 'cool' in their eyes...until one fateful Sunday morning.
I breezed into class as usual, full of energy and ready to mold these young minds using God's Word. I made sure I dressed up a little bit (khaki pants and a polo shirt) so that the older folks at church would be proud of me.
Class began just fine. I went through the announcements, and even said a prayer before I noticed anything was wrong.
Finally, one of the boys said, "Franklin, come over here for a sec!"
Smiling, I approached, noticing that some of the other kids were giggling.
"Dude," he whispered, "XYZ."
"XYZ, man! XYZ!"
Not sure of his meaning, I straightened up, gave him the thumbs up and said, "ABC, dude!" to the delight of all the other teens.
His face turning red, he motioned me into the adjacent room, away from the other teens. When we were alone, he burst out laughing.
"Don't you know what 'XYX' means? It means 'X-amine Your Zipper', man!"
As my eyes dropped to follow his instructions, I must have gone white in the face. My zipper wasn't just partially had gone ALL the way south, if you know what I mean! Underwear and all were in plain view!
I thanked him for being honest and up front with his UNCOOL youth minister. I zipped up my pants and headed back into class where I proceeded to teach from Genesis on the verse (you guessed it) "...and the LORD created them male and female."
To this day I ALWAYS check my zipper before doing ANYTHING in front of a group!

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