« An open letter to Canadians from the Moderator of The United Church of Canada | Main | The Four Cats »

I am in a quandary...to facilitate or not to facilitate...

I came home today and found an email in my inbox with the subject "An Opportunity?..." The first line was "I wonder if you would consider the following..." Uh oh, I thought...why do I have the feeling I'm about to hear God calling?

Here's the email:

Anne -

I wonder if you would consider the following...

The Thing about Youth Ministry ....

Do you know that in past few years we had to turn down youth interested in attending Intermediates at Conference? For the past two years the Planning Team have worked out systems to make it possible to double the number of participants this year. Do you know that over the past two years we have nearly doubled the number of male participants? The Planning Team is ready. Early indications show the youth are applying in good numbers.

However, in order to accept 120 youth we need 20 facilitators. At present we have 8 applications. We need more applications for facilitators and especially from men. Please give this some thought.

Think about people who have the gifts to work with youth. Some people think you have to be a young adult to be a good facilitator. Yes, we want young adults. And we also want people of any age who have the energy, openness and desire to be a small group leader.

You will find more information and Facilitator applications online at: marconf.ca/forms (scroll down)

The thing about youth ministry .... We have the youth, we need the leadership.

I know you may want to give [M*] her "space" at IaC, and if you would agree to apply as a Facilitator (and become one, 'cause who in their right mind is going to refuse you?!), we can be sure to have [M*] in a different Home Group, etc.

Let me know what you think. I think you'd do an awesome job!

[*My daughter M has applied to attend as an Intermediate at Conference, it will be her first year.]

My immediate reaction is no way, I can't do that. But some annoying little inner voice tells me I better give this some serious prayerful consideration. So...here I sit, struggling with indecision, thinking oh, I can't do this...can I?? Waiting for a sign from God ;)

I went to the website and read the actual form:

What does a facilitator do?
As a facilitator, you will be part of the team offering the IAC program. This year, our team includes facilitators, facilitator coordinator, 2 chaplains, the registrar, and the programme director. You will be assigned to a home group of 6-8 participants and will participate in all the IAC events. You will lead activities and discussions with your home group and through these activities foster a sense of community. The IAC planning team has put together a schedule of events that include games, activities with Youth Forum, participation in portions of the Annual General Meeting of the Maritime Conference, and worship, to name a few.

Ok, that actually sounds like it might be fun, but am a bit scared to say yes...because what if I suck at this? I have no experience as a youth leader, or with facilitating, or working with children or youth in any capacity. I don't even volunteer to teach Sunday school at my church, except for the odd Sunday I reluctantly agreed because they were so desperate. Ah, but I did do that...and the kids weren't irreparably scarred by the experience. Deep breath...maybe I can do this. It does sound fun, I must admit...

I read a little more of the form:

Please answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper:
1. Why do you want to be a facilitator?
2. What is your favourite Bible story? Why?
3. What experience do you have working with children and youth? Please be
specific about your experience and age groups.
4. What experience do you have working on a team?
5. What are your strengths?
6. What are you weaknesses?
7. Have you been involved in conference events in the past? If so, please describe.
8. What skills/talents/gifts/interests do you have that could contribute to our
program? (music, leading games, crafts, drama, first aid).

Ok...back to feeling scared and thinking "what was I thinking, I can't do this..." Because my answers are:
1. Because I was asked
2. Uhhhhhhh...what was the question?
3. Pretty much none, except raising my own children
4. ok, I can handle this one, have been part of lots of teams at work
5. er, I'll get back to you once I've thought of something
6. how many pages should I write?
7. No
8. See #5

But...I am touched by Janice's vote of confidence. I am moved by my heart whispering "yes, you can do this". I am pulled by the knowledge that 120 children just like my M want to joyfully celebrate the Spirit through gathering at this conference and they need people like me to do so. I am strengthened by the presence of God filling me with the courage to say yes.

I am mindful of the words I posted the other day of Jann Arden: "you have a chance every day when you wake up to recreate yourself" and Pema Chodron: "the spiritual journey involves going beyond hope and fear; it involves stepping into unknown territory, continually moving forward."

And my own comment: "Those quotes speak to me too, especially the stepping out into unknown territory. I find that such amazing things happen when I open myself to the unknown."

Hmm, maybe remembering those quotes is that sign from God I was looking for! I guess I am not really in a quandary after all...just waiting for my brain to accept what my heart already knows: that I am going to say yes because how can I not step into this unknown territory and open myself to the possibility of an amazing experience?

Comments (12)


It sounds like something that would be really meaningful to you, Anne. Go for it!

Well, if your gut feeling tells you to do it, I'd say go for it.


Thanks Sheri, I know you are right, this will be incredibly meaningful. And I'm sure a lot of fun once I get used to the idea.

Candi, my gut actually says 'ahhhhh, run away!!' But my heart tells me I need to do this...and I did promise to listen to my heart this year, so really I have no choice! :) Still have to check if I can get the time off work though, but don't expect that will be a problem.

It sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Go for it!


Thanks Annie, I just filled out a vacation request to get the time off work, so if that gets approved, I'll send in an application. Whether that application gets accepted or not is another story - how sad would it be if I talk myself into appying and then get rejected! :(

By the way, M has agreed that I can go...as long as she does NOT get placed in my group (like mother, like daughter...as a teen, I chose to attend a different high school than the one my mom taught at!)


Anne, go for it! I think you would be good at it and both you and the kids would grow and benefit from the experience. I understand that it is scary but most things we first try are. Remember,prayer goes a long way in building confidence and success. You'll be good!!!

I have a feeling you won't get rejected, ha ha!


Thanks Jane, so true, prayer can be very strengthening. And definitely will be a growing experience! Once I got over my initial shock, I begin to look forward to this!

Annie, I have a feeling you are right! ;)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Anne, I'm so glad to scroll down and read in your comments that you are doing it. I think you would be so good at this. And the youth placed in your group will be very very lucky.

Have a great weekend!


Thanks Kathy, that's very sweet of you. :)

Funny, when I wrote the last line of the actual entry, it meant "yes", but judging from everyone's comments, it sounded like I was still undecided. I guess I should have worded that a little differently!

You'll be a great asset to the IAC program!


Thanks Maria, I hope you are right! I really do think this will be a wonderful experience. Hopefully "my" group will have as much fun with me as I know I will have with them!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 5, 2009 9:42 PM.

The previous post in this blog was An open letter to Canadians from the Moderator of The United Church of Canada.

The next post in this blog is The Four Cats.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33
© 2007 - 2014 Slow Travel