Not long ago in a conversation with my pastor he made this “passing” comment, “We are rarely contented by the vision the Lord has given us. We listen to the “big names” in the Christian community and try to emulate them. If we want our numbers to grow we believe we must BE them. Then it fails and we wonder why. The problem is it works for those pastors because it is their calling. It doesn’t work for us because the Lord has a different plan for us.“
I have seen a trend in ministry, all ministry, we so desperately want to be “more” we stop looking for the purpose God gave US and look to others. The issue isn’t when we take wisdom and apply it, the issue comes when we try to emulate who they are. We play the “numbers” or the “comparison” game, and feel empty. If we don’t have “enough” students or aren’t as “noticed” as someone else, we are doing it “wrong.” There are times when we do have to track who is in the room, however, how do we keep a balance?
How do we stay true to our “special purpose?”
Are you an Evangelist or a Discipler?
An evangelist’s heart breaks when there is one more student who hasn’t heard the Gospel of Christ. A discipler’s heart breaks when one more student hasn’t gone deeper in their walk. Evangelists care about discipleship and visa versa. However, the approach is vastly different. Know who you are.
Know What Being “You” Means.
What I would say is get to know your strengths and weaknesses. THEN read the books, listen to the sermons, and study what others are saying. Learn to “chew on the meat and spit out the bones,” as they say. What do you need to know & adapt? What is a good idea, perhaps even a “God idea,” but NOT God’s idea for you?
Why are We In This?
When the Lord first called us to youth ministry all we cared about were students + Jesus = transformed lives. Our creativity, our drive, everything was wrapped in this truth. It’s easy to get off track and focus more on “WHAT” we are doing than “WHO” we are doing it for. Get back to a zeal to simply see students grabbing hold of the GOOD NEWS and living it out.
I once heard Steven Furtick say, “It’s easy to compare our daily ministry to someone else’s success reel.” Track numbers when you have to. Partner with other ministries that fill in the gaps of your weakness. Most of all simply don’t forget Christ just wants you to do what he asked of YOU, no one else.