Honestly, our ministry is going through a little bit of a crisis right now.

On the surface you wouldn’t see much out of the ordinary – youth group is fun and energetic, small groups are plugging along toward the end of the school year and the last big event had strong attendance and quite a few new faces. My boss seems happy, we may actually come in on budget this year and generally things are OK.

But under the surface, we’re dealing with some serious issues. God is choosing to bring us not 1, not 2 … but 6 big things to the surface right now. Some serious stuff we’ve got to process. Some stuff we haven’t dealt with before. Some difficult conversations that need to be had. Some stuff it is mandatory it be reported. The ugly side of real-life ministry is here in full force this week.

And you know what? God is faithful. God is changing lives. God is giving us wisdom. God is guiding. God is healing. God is providing. God is giving confidence. God is pruning. God is.

It seems like when it rains trouble … a flash flood of tough stuff isn’t far behind. If you are wading in some deep waters or think you may be in over your head, remember that God is there through it all. I know I could use the reminder right now, too.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

JG

When God places you in a role of leadership, it is not to be taken lightly. He wants to live through you and wants to make a life changing impact in the lives you come in contact with. To do this, you have got to be willing to lead by example so they will have someone to imitate. “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)

Living in transparency
We all have short comings. It is important to allow others to see that in you. It is especially when you are in a role of leadership and all they ever see is the perfect side of you. I like to invite the children in my ministry into my world and allow them to live in my imperfect world if only for a moment. I show them it is okay to be imperfect and God can and will still use you anyway. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Love when it hurts
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God–for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8) Love does not stop loving when it doesn’t feel good anymore. Love keeps on loving even when it hurts. It goes to enormous lengths to comfort, to guide, to protect and to lead. With God’s love, we can lead our youth to Jesus.

Speak life
Whether with your youth at church, at a concert or at home; you should watch the words you choose. Words have the power to either lift someone up or drag someone down. It is never okay to speak down on someone even if it is only meant for fun. We are raising up planet shakers and our words should reflect just that. Speak life into your youth group. Speak life to the kid who no one would give a second look. God has incredible plans for each of them. Speak life, see life.

Let’s take our leadership role seriously and choose to lead by example, allowing God to use us to positively impact the lives of the youth of tomorrow.

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.