These past few weeks I have been pondering curriculum, events, attendance, and programs, along with high and low attendance, parental priorities, wild rumors, and how to make it all work. So how can I take all these things, manage, create, and run the perfect ministry? How can I get kids to want to show up, give their lives to Jesus, and become fully committed, radical disciples of Christ? I believe that I have a skill set to offer, ideas and plans that are pretty good but they’re never good enough. My very best seems inefficient, unproductive, and incompetent.
It took a dead youth pastor to remind me this morning that all that is irrelevant. As I woke and read a chapter or two out of “Getting Fired for the Glory of God” by Mike Yaconelli (founder of Youth Specialties) it was a painful reminder that my ministry programs, communications techniques, and any skills I may have (or have not) aren’t what it’s all about. So what is it all about? You guessed it…Jesus. Jesus is it. No big programs or ministry planning is going to bring kids to Christ. No parents will be ministered to or even be made happy by what I’m doing. Only Jesus. Only His will. Only His plan.
Every time I get caught up in my incompetency and become overwhelmed by my own sense of inadequacy I hear the words from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Christ asks us to do what leadership seminars, books, and professional efficiency experts tell us to never do: Work out of your weakness. “When I am weak, then I am strong” starts to make sense when we realize that it’s not about us, it’s about Him.
So what does that look like? I don’t know, but I’m starting to realize that as soon as I start envisioning and planning what it looks like to work out of His strength and not mine, I am reminded that it doesn’t have to look like Francis Chan or Craig Groeschel. It may just look like an unknown guy who spent his life loving the left out kids and teaching them to love God first, and everything else second. Somehow that’s encouraging and disturbing but all I know is the rest is up to God.