How are you doing? YOU. Not the Gospel Advancing youth leader, or the spouse, or the parent or whatever other role you might fill from time to time. Let’s just talk about you.
How are you doing? Are you in a place where God is overwhelming you with His presence? Maybe you’re in a place where His presence seems far away. When was the last time you spent some long quality time with God? When was the last time you read the Bible for hours—for the sole purpose of God speaking to you? Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Are you empty? Do you feel alone?
The greatest asset to your Gospel Advancing Youth Ministry is you…actually it is God in you. How would you rate your spiritual life right now? The best thing you can do to take your students to the next level might be to take a break, set aside the details and logistics of your youth ministry for a short time and rejuvenate your deep, rich, satisfying relationship with God that brings you great joy and spiritual strength.The greatest asset to your youth ministry is you…actually it is God in you. Click To Tweet
Stretched Thin and Running Ragged?
Above what we can give God through the work of our hands, He desires that love in our hearts. He longs to speak to YOU. He longs for you to SEEK Him. The shorter Westminster Catechism says, “The chief end of man is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.” Do you enjoy Him or is it past time to reconnect with Him on a deeper level?
If you sense that you’re stretched thin and running ragged, here are some practical ideas you might try to create some space for a time of deeper intimacy with your Heavenly Father who longs for you to crawl up in His lap and connect with Him.
Make time to get away for a day—or an overnight—to a place with no TV or internet, and then exercise the discipline to shut your phone off. This kind of media-free zone is increasingly difficult to find if you’re not into tent camping deep inside a National Forest in the wilds of the Mountain West. If you can’t find a place where this is part of the package, then vow to observe a media fast during your block of time away. The point is to create a space where you can reconnect with God without all the high-tech umbilical cords we’ve all grown so dependent on and distracted by.
Trained spiritual directors often observe that there comes a time when the most spiritual thing you can do is rest. So, if you need to…make room for some holy REST! Not to be lazy and idle, but to restore and recharge your batteries in a way that points you toward a refreshed focus on your relationship with God. The 21st Century Western Church has pretty much relegated the concept of a weekly Sabbath Rest to the dustbin of church history, but deep down, do any of us really doubt that God knew what He was doing when within the first week of Creation, He modeled a day of rest? Maybe there’s a reason He built it into The Ten Commandments right alongside no false gods and no murder. If you’re exhausted, there may very well be a good reason why. But there’s really only one way out of that gaping hole that saps your energy for living all-in for Jesus and sucks the joy out of your life. Holy REST.
Green Pastures and Still Waters
Do you sometimes feel like a gerbil in a cage running endlessly on a wheel that’s taking you nowhere fast? Make a covenant with God to only give to your youth ministry out of the abundance of your relationship with Him. Pause and breathe in God’s goodness and grace on a regular basis. It’s impossible to model a life fully-devoted to God and the advancement of His Kingdom for your students if you aren’t tapping into His power and presence through your own vibrant relationship with Jesus.
Try This! ❯
Mediate on Psalm 23 line-by-line this week. Memorize a few of the lines that particularly speak to you, so you can draw on them when you need to tap into God’s abiding presence and power.
Mindfulness and whitespace are common buzzwords today used to describe a calming, quiet space for dialing down the noise and tuning into your more reflective side. Is it possible that these current secular trends that typically leave God out of the picture are a faint shadow of a concept that’s been a chapter in God’s book for thousands of years? It’s called Psalm 23.
Try mediating on Psalm 23 line-by-line. Lie down in green pastures and walk beside quiet waters, so He CAN refresh your soul and guide you along right paths. Memorize a few of the lines in the Psalm that particularly speak to you. Or better yet, work toward memorizing the whole thing so you can tuck it away deep in your soul and draw on it whenever you need to tap into God’s abiding presence and power.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever (Psalms 23).
Do you feel His presence in your life? How full is your cup? Who are you spiritually when you’re not a youth leader? Answering those questions from a place of spiritual depth and strength is one of the very best gifts you can give your students and your Gospel Advancing Ministry.
Want more practical advice on mobilizing your teens to share the gospel? All of our Mobilize stories offer great ideas for training your students and building a Gospel Advancing Ministry. Sign up here to receive this free, hands-on resource in your inbox!