My oldest son just completed the 4th grade. In his science class, they were required to complete “frayers” in their science journal. It had been a while since I was in 4th grade, so I admit I didn’t know exactly what a frayer was when it was first assigned. Basically, you divide your paper into four quadrants and label them – Definition, Properties, Examples, Non-examples. So, in the case of “rocks,” for example, you have the definition in one quadrant, you can list its properties like “non-living” and “natural” in the second quadrant. Examples could be sandstone or marble, non-examples could be minerals like quartz or diamond. You get the idea.
As I’ve entered this phase of discernment – recently laid off from a youth ministry position, now trying to discern where God is leading me next – the idea of a frayer for my own personal role in youth ministry makes sense.
So, if I labeled my own frayer “My Personal Ministry Passions,” here’s what you might see in the quadrants:
Definition – the areas of ministry where my personal passion and heart’s desire/sense of God’s call on my life most closely align with the work at hand
- these areas of ministry bring me joy
- I’m excited about them
- I get pumped when I see it happening
- brings sense of fulfillment
- I sense God getting glory through faithfully doing work I was called to do
- Best uses my strengths/gifts/skills
Examples (things that bring me the most joy)
- loving on students and getting them to understand God’s grace and plan for them
- teaching students to be leaders in ministry
- mentoring students to find their own spiritual gifts and to discern God’s call on their lives
- teaching students to be compassionate
- inspiring others to do something about injustice
- having a heart for youthworkers who are in desperate need for self-care, mentors and pastoral care to keep from burning out in an often misunderstood profession
- helping others through mission work (Mission trip, 30 Hour Famine)
- teaching junior high Bible study
- inspiring youth to read their own Bible
- creating spiritual retreats and other moments to bring students closer to Christ
- trying new adventures
Non-examples (things that do NOT bring me the most joy)
- Sitting in staff meetings
- Church politics
- Missing out on personal Sabbath, Bible study, worship, pastoral care
- Sitting at my computer/desk
- Counting heads instead of monitoring spiritual growth
- Leading a group in song (those who’ve heard me sing will attest)
- Too much time away from family
- Most technical support things like running the sound board
This frayer concept might be helpful in bringing clarity to other decision making processes – I could see this helping youth to figure out what God might be calling them to do with their lives. After all, adolescence is a time of figuring out who we are and how we fit in God’s Kingdom – what about a frayer to define who you are/who you desire to be?
Each of us have been given unique gifts from God to be used in this lifetime – why settle for something that’s just okay when something truly awesome could be an option?
Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts to share/other ideas where this could be used.
Love in Christ,