Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Holy Rule Chapter 2 -what kind of man the abbot ought to be

Chapter two is much longer and much more stern as it deals with leaderhsip principles for the abbot of the monastary. He is compared to Jesus within the community and told that his life, actions and teachings must be holy and in accordance with that representation.

This chapter is so essential for youth ministers for a couple of reasons:
1. Youth ministers are looked up to and watched by students
2. Youth ministers must consider their methods in light of the students they are ministering to. What worked for a particular group/generation may not work for the following group/generation.
3. Youth ministers must be kind to those that are receptive and have the wisdom to recognize rebellion and pride in the students they lead. This is a hard thing for sure, as it is not a fun job to be able to confront anyone about their attitude. Church people tend to talk a lot behind the minister's back and when it gets back to the minister it hurts like a knife in the back. This is why I, personally, try to spend my time with Christians and not with church people. In this chapter the Abbot is actually instructed to use physical harm to chastise the proud and disobedient. Could you imagine a youth pastor doing that today? Or even an Abbot?
4. To whom much has been trusted much will be expected. Today's church is being influenced by youth pastors. This is why I think churches are dumb for hiring untrained, unexperienced, unteachable youth pastors - and being surprised when the church is paying for it 10-20 years later. Perhaps the un-whatever pastors should take care of the oldest, most steady, people and eventually be able to move downwards in age-specific ministry. This is part of the reason I think this chapter on the role of the Abbot is for youth ministers more than any other minister (senior, family, associate, music, etc.)

Above all other things, the Abbot is responsible for the souls of those under his care. May God strengthen those souls and lead the Abbot in the most holy ways as the Lord gives an increase in a worthy fold.

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