According to the Limca Book of World Records (it is similar to the Gluiness Book of World Records in India), the longest a human being has tread water is a total of 85 hours. It also states that there is also a difference between treading water and “drown proofing”. In treading water, the swimmer’s face must remain out of the water. In drown proofing, the swimmer can lie face down in the water, and raises only to take a break to conserve energy.
Think about that for a second. 85 straight hours of treading water. That is a long stinkin’ time to keep your head above water. However, I think that the Limca Book of World Records got it wrong. I only say that because I have been treading since August. Now I have not been treading in water; I have been treading in my ministry.
The Shannon Oaks Church Student Ministries (SOC/SM) has grown a lot since last year. We have grown spiritually. We have grown numerically. And we have grown a lot in each. For the longest time, it seemed like we would have somebody new walking through our doors every time we met. It was incredibly exciting but at the same time exhausting for me.
You see for years I have based the student ministry here at Shannon Oaks around relationships. It is to me the only true way to do ministry (all ministry, not just youth ministry). The problem with relational youth ministry is your humanity. What I mean by that is that a normal human being has a relational tank that can only hold and maintain so many relationships. When I say relationships, I mean real relationships…not “high/bye” relationships. When my relational tank filled up, I simply started treading water. However, I knew this could only be temporary because I knew I would eventually drown. I was simply surviving, not thriving. The longer my treading water phase went, the more I realized I couldn’t be everywhere I needed to be. I couldn’t be at the soccer game, the dance recital, the Jr High Bible study, sitting across the table talking about life at Chilis, on the phone with the student that hadn’t shown up in 3 weeks, while making sure I took care of my family at home. I needed help and I needed help fast before the ministry plateaued.
I went in one afternoon to talk with our shepherds (elders) here and they asked how the student ministry was going. I decided to verbally throw-up on them my current situation. I told them my need for help. They stepped up and told me that help would be on its way.
I am pleased to say that Ben Vos will be moving to Sulphur Springs in June to be another youth minister at the Shannon Oaks Church. We will partner together and lead the SOC/SM. I can’t think of a better guy to work with and live life with. I am incredibly excited.
I am definitely excited to stop treading water. God is good.