Friday, July 21, 2006
Afternoons and coffee spoons
This week has been one of those occasions were I have felt a bit confused and frustrated as English man in New Zealand. Previously in England after 2 years as a student and 4 years with UCCF I was pretty used to busy and quiet points in the year. At the TSCF conference and someone from England commented on how they felt they should be on holiday from university and that it should be summer not winter.
I hadn't really thought much about it but I came back into work after a few days off to find all sorts of conversations needing to be had with students who were thinking about being group leaders for the Christian Union and International Christian Fellowship. I didn't want this - I wanted a quiet few weeks. In my old world this should be happening in January February time not now! People had warned me that Annual General Meetings were coming but for a number of reasons I hadn't really taken it in that AGMs meant new leaders.
To be honest all too often I feel like I am reacting or responding rather than preempting or being proactive. I guess the lessons to learn are to stop and listen regardless of how busy I am may be (and the run up to the conference was busy!) but also to ask questions about what lies ahead month by month.
Anyway, my average coffee intake of an afternoon has doubled this week due to having coffee with potential leaders. It has been a wonderful time of getting to know students better, hearing ideas on different ways that the work on campus can be developed and what mission at Victoria should or could look like. But has also been encouraging to help some students begin to think through what it means to be committed to Christian service, be it a TSCF group or youth work or church based group. All too often commitment is based on what the individual gets or does not get out of a group that they are involved in rather than being committed to building other Christians up (Ephesians 4) and being missional (Matthew 28). Thankfully this is not always a deliberate approach to commitment and some people respond positively when questioned but others sadly do not see it as a problem.