been reflecting recently how there is no substitute for time. in all sorts of areas of our lives really.

obviously with friendships and family. they should flourish and grow and develop if we create time for one another. prioritise time for each other above other commitments. perhaps we have all seen how the opposite can be true as relationships stagnate as little time is invested.

and how these friendships aren’t for a time or for a season. but a lifetime.

we should be in this with each other for life.

and this means being in it for the long haul with each other. no matter what happens. or what changes occur. or what goes wrong. being prepared to do life with those around us. and that means sacrifice from our end of things.

investment. trust. listening.

how much time are you investing in those around you?

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and i’ve seen this in my work life too. i was often scared that the longer i did this, the more i would grow stale, but i’ve discovered the opposite to be true. the more time goes in, the deeper connections go with schools and pupils. the more i do it, the more experience i gain, and hopefully the greater skills i grow.

i often am confused by churches who employ youth workers in their churches for 1 or 2 years. just as young people are beginning to build trust up with an individual and feel at home within a programme or group, the youth worker moves on and the cycle starts again. surely building something significant takes a significant amount of time. and surely the endless cycle of developing, growing, maintaining and then passing on is actually detrimental to the lives of young people?

the youth workers i know who have been it in for the long haul are the ones that inspire me. the ones who have surfed the waves and endured the troughs. those who have seen a 12 year old develop, make mistakes and grow into a leader and a university student. those who have developed initiatives that didn’t exist, and seen it through to the end.

and so am i prepared to be in the things i’ve committed to for the long haul? holding on to the values i own and continuing to grasp on to the passions i have deep within you?

or will we just leave our church when we’re not satisfied? give up our faith when things aren’t so good? and walk away from friendships when they aren’t benefitting us?

there is no substitute for time.

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