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Fall is in the Air

I love fall: the time of year I binge watch Gilmore Girls, bake pumpkins spice everything, and a read more than any other time of the year. Reading is better when wrapped in a blanket by a fireplace with hot tea in your hands, right? This was also my favorite time of year in ministry. Retreats bond the teens and Core Team together in powerful ways, Confirmation preparation is on a roll, and the relational ministry is starting to pay off.

During the fall, when trees are shedding their leaves and darkness permeates the night sky earlier, embrace what comes naturally in nature and apply it to your ministry. Everything about fall can help us evaluate our ministry. So do me a favor. Grab a warm fall beverage, your journal, and your Bible and sit down in a comfy chair with your favorite blanket and take a moment to see how God is moving in your ministry and where He is calling you to focus your attention for the remainder of the year.

Pumpkin Spice

You know what time of year it is every time you walk into Starbucks. The menu even prompts you to the changing seasons. And the cups go from ordinary to fall to the infamous Red Cup season. Sometimes I feel like they stole this cup change idea from our Catholic Liturgical color ritual.

Starbucks makes you feel at home the second you walk through the door. Which provokes the question, is your ministry warm and inviting? Do teens come into your office and want to sit down and share their day with you? Do you know their name? Even better could you spell their name correctly on a cup (sorry pet peeve – my name is spelled TRICIA – not TRISHA OR TRISCIA OR PATTY)? But I digress. How inviting is your ministry and Core Team at a Life or Edge Night, on retreat, at Confirmation, during a Bible Study or just when a teen pops by to visit? What can you do to make it more welcoming and inviting?

Changing Leaves

I was just in New York and took a long brisk walk in Central Park marveling at the colors of the fall foliage. Maples, cypress, sycamore, and birch all lit up in oranges, reds, and golden yellows. The change is magnificent and reminds me of that moment when you see a teen encounter Christ; that moment changes them.

Are your teens changing like the leaves on the trees? Are they allowing what they learn and experience at Life Night and who they receive in the Eucharist to transform them to be more like Christ? Are their peers and family noticing the change in their behavior, their spirit, their friends, and the choices they make? What are you doing to help them in these significant moments of change in their life.

Falling Leaves

When the breeze picked up in New York, the sky was like leaf fill confetti and the ground was covered in a catwalk of stomped on and freshly fallen leaves. Unlike spring when we prune trees, God takes care of the pruning Himself in the fall.

Are your teens allowing God to remove the dead leaves in their life, so to speak, and expose the real person God created them to be? Are they comfortable being, in a sense, exposed as a Christian and follower of Christ? What can you do to help your teens embrace this often-difficult threshold of change and embrace the disciple God is inviting them to be?

Daylight Savings

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel like I gained an hour of sleep this week! Oh, how I miss Arizona this time of year (for those of you don’t know –  like Hawaii, Arizona doesn’t follow daylight savings). Regardless of where you live, darkness fills the air leaving us to ask the tough ministry questions. So, where do you find darkness in your ministry: Core Team drama; teens living double lives; parent ministry issues; staff gossip? Whatever the darkness, how is God calling you to bring it to the light?

So the next time you are drinking your pumpkin spice latte, or put on boots and a scarf because it’s actually cold outside, listen to what God is speaking to you at that moment. How is God inviting you to enter fully into the season of fall and how is He speaking to you and your ministry through this autumn season?

Image via FlickrCC 2.0 Logo added

About the Author

Tricia Tembreull

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-size heart for hospitality. She said yes over twenty years ago to God’s call to youth ministry and never could’ve imagined the adventures and people He had planned for her to encounter along the way. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, you can find Tricia in a church, spending time with family and friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk.

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