that_guy_zach and I spent far more time than we could afford on this little bunch of Cubs. Both pastors were there nearly every week for merely four active boys. I can't see justifying that expenditure of time and energy next year: so next fall, we need more boys and more parent leadership (and less clergy leadership) -- or no Cub Pack.
This year, Zach and I went ahead and did all we did in order to keep the promise we made last fall. The fact that a very few boys got an inordinate amount of their pastors' attention is just grace-upon-grace for them. The fact was, neither of us was willing to let something we had staked our integrity on fall apart, so long as somebody was willing to do the program.
Nine-tenths of all problems with children- and youth-ministry are adult-generated. Adults' schedules, personality conflicts, laziness, brain cramps, etc. are far more prevalent than those of the youth (crazy as they can be). And one of the biggest problems is with the adult(s) who talk big, then don't perform.
Oh, yeah, we're gonna do the big deal -- someday, they say. Always "someday." But there's always a reason why "someday" never comes. The really weaselly ones find a way to blame the kid(s) for the adults' inability to deliver on their own promises. But either way, we teach the kids -- over and over -- that we are all hat and no cattle. Just talk. And we teach them to grab their amusement however it comes -- we create discipline problems and disaffection -- because WE broke the covenant of expectations between the adult leaders and the youth.
This is especially heinous when we are talking about church groups or church-affiliated programs. We teach kids that religion is a bunch of hot air, and we teach them not to trust in God, not to believe in us, every time we dump them because we got a better offer or were unable to control our priorities.
So, while Casey, Dalton, Jon, and Joey got an unexpected (and unrepeatable) bonus this year -- the whole congregation got a lesson in what is really important from their pastors. I hope they were watching. May they have eyes to see.