Last week at youth club it was pandemonium. We had to ban 3/4 of the kids for this week.
So tonight we were expecting small numbers. But not as small as it turned out. Only four turned up. And three of them had actually been banned the week before and should not have been there. The one legitimate member was desperate that we let in her three mates.
What should we do? Should we let them all in even though word would get around that our 'no' doesn't mean 'no' (these kids really need to learn boundaries!)? Or should we stand on principle, keep the three out and admit the one girl who really didn't want to be the only kid in the club?
Well the other youth leaders know I'm a soft touch, so before I caved in and let everyone come they issued a firm 'no' and we ran the club with five leaders and one youth. The one youth was not happy. She neither spoke nor joined in any of the activities. Sigh.
It was only as we left that I realised the right course of action. See as we left, the three banned youth were still hanging around church property - they had nothing else to do on a Thursday night. And then it struck me - I should have gone out and joined them in their exile. Wouldn't that have been the Christmas thing to do?
Wouldabeen great! We would be telling them, Our no means no - they can't come in. But nonetheless, I will go out to them. If they can't come in to hear the word of life I'll go out into their cold, dark banishment and bring it to them.
And so I kicked myself all the way home. Why didn't I think of that earlier? But as I was berating myself, a plan began to form... In future, I'll ban 'em all just so that the following week I can join them in it! Cunning huh?
Which brings me to the moral of this story: Don't trust the supralapsarian youth leader.