Monday, March 23, 2009

Dodgeball Extravaganza Reflections

When I first started planning the Dodgeball Extravaganza, I definitely was aiming high. The concept was that students would create unique teams with uniforms, each raising school tuition money for kids in Uganda through Global Support Mission. I had a vision of at least a dozen teams, and I invited other churches to participate. How cool would that be? This builds community between churches and within churches, it allows junior high students to participate in something missional and connecting with a community in Uganda, and it's really fun.

So when only four teams from our own youth group signed up, I was initially bummed out. Where were the other churches? Where were my dozen teams? What had I done wrong? Could I have communicated it better? Was the price too high? Was it too early in the morning? Why wasn't God blessing my amazing plan?

Turns out that it's not about me and my expectations; it's about God and what He's doing in the lives of students. The Dodgeball Extravaganza was a blast. The students came up with awesome team names and uniforms. We had the Neon Zebras, the Masked Monks, the Tableclothes, and the Beastly Killer Lumberjacks. There were upsets in the tournament (like the 7th grade guys beating the 9th grade guys for one round!) and a lot of laughing and cheering. Parents and staff showed up, and people hung around for nearly an hour afterward. For those 30 students who participated, they experienced community together and helped kids in Uganda. God worked in and through them, and for some they may have caught the vision that following Jesus doesn't mean just listening to a sermon on Sunday morning.

To the students and families that participated: you reminded me that it's not about my plans, it's about God's plans. Thank you for helping me learn and grow. It's not that dreaming big is bad, I'm just learning more about following God in the moment.

(Oh, and I'm learning about evaluation too: the price was too high, and it probably was too early in the morning. We'll do it again, and we'll make it better!)

For more info on Global Support Mission, check out their website here. And if you're a youth worker who'd like to connect about running your own Dodgeball Extravaganza, leave a comment or shoot me an email at jmayward@rmcchurch.org

Update: Here's a picture collage of the DBE:

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