Celebrate Good Times

Category: By Christian
I didn't post on Friday because I had nothing. Thursday night, The Hope Center (the ministry I work for) had it's annual awards ceremony and it was quite the event. It was a personal milestone for me, because it marked the end of my first year of programming at THC, but it was even a bigger milestone for the kids. A night to remember, and yet a night that left me drained of most emotional and physical energy.

What makes the awards ceremony so special is that it is a really fun way to reshape some of the paradigms that are hurting the African American community that lives in the inner-city. The positive reinforcement of important values goes so far in shaping how these kids are going to prioritize their behaviors on their journey to adulthood. To see kids begin to value hard work, education, biblical literacy, servant hood and genuine affection is a moving experience.

It was a great reminder about what one of the foremost tasks of any ministry is...to change paradigms. Are you able to cultivate an environment where peoples hearts and minds are changed? Can you live out and exemplify healthy paradigms that lead to life abundantly that then prove to be contagious? It's a tough deal to stick with because our society is so action oriented. We want to see behavioral changes. We get frustrated when behavioral modification goes slowly and we feel like we aren't doing a good job.

But in the end, what we really want is life change. While that will be seen in behaviors, it will begin in the heart. On Thursday night I saw kids and their families express and exuberant excitement over things that our friends in the inner-city have struggled to be exited about for a while, and I couldn't help but think that it was just a taste of the wholeness and dignity that is on the horizon.

Fair Dinkum

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