Happy Inconsistencies

We once had a man at the church I pastor whom I thought would have been a superb youth volunteer. He was sharp, biblical, fun, and cool. When I approached him with the idea, he told me that he just did not like the idea of youth groups. The idea of getting kids together to play games and tack on a bible lesson was just not the way to go about discipling our youth, was his position.

At least that was his rhetoric.

I later asked him about how his relationship was progressing with a man who had visited the church, a man with a drug problem and a skittish relationship to the gospel. My friend said that he was in a day or two going to meet the guy at some place and play billiards with him.

I laughed. His methodology for reaching adults was the same methodology he repudiated for youth: develop the relationship, earn the right and respect to be heard. He was meeting this guy, playing games with him, and, if you will, ‘tacking on’ some bible talk afterward.

I call this a ‘happy inconsistency’ – a situation in which our practice is better than our preaching.

Sometimes our environment or the teaching around us forces us into a box bound by rules we believe to be true. My friend was being fed from the ‘youth groups are evil’ school. But his heart, nurtured as it was by the grace of God, reacted normally and with grace in those contexts where he was free from the bondage of rules. The result was a happy inconsistency.

I pray that grace will make me in every way where my thinking is wrong happily inconsistent!