Ministry With Sharks

Cody Ray Charland | Nov 4, 2010

Recently there was a deadly shark attack in Southern California that claimed the life of a college junior. As with most attacks, there was no warning on a normal, beautiful day. The incident had a ripple effect on the surfing culture. According to USA Today, “Twenty-five percent of the people who normally surf on the weekend were in the water,” said Bill Bookout, owner of the Pismo Beach Surf Shop about 40 miles north (of the attack).

Ministry will always have enemies that swim beneath the surface unnoticed. 1 Peter warns us about an enemy whose one purpose is to ravage and destroy the unsuspecting. There are “red flags” that can alert you but are typically recognized only after the damage has been done. Most times, there are problems that only reveal themselves until it’s too late to be fixed.

When these attacks happen, the surrounding culture naturally responds with retreat. All of your momentum and excitement are seemingly sucked out like a vacuum. Attendance goes down, along with your motivation. These are all natural responses to any faith or moral crisis that could happen to your group.

But if you’re a leader, you’re not just a lifeguard during these moments. Once the attack is over and damage control is no longer needed, your job is the same as before. As a youth worker, you’re an anchor for Truth regardless of circumstances. There’s only so much response a crisis needs. What’s best after those moments is that you get back in the water and show sharks no mercy.

Cody Ray Charland

Cody Ray Charland is a second year MATM student at Fuller’s Pasadena campus. He holds a BA in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As Project Assistant with the Fuller Youth Institute, he handles social media, and helps with writing, technology, and research. He was formerly a Young Life leader as well as Youth Pastor at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC. Cody enjoys the outdoors, all things Tar Heel, and barbecue.


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