After a long ministry season, things are winding down for the school year and I am starting our usual post mortem on the year and thinking about the all of the things that we would do differently. I think this year more than any other that many of the things I would change have more to do with my heart and perspective than anything we taught or sang. Maybe you can relate to the things I am asking the Lord to work on in my heart.
Pre-service stress: My favourite moment of the night is always right when we start because once things are moving, there is no changing it, we are LIVE! Unfortunately I have made the time leading up to it an often-miserable experience. I find myself wondering what else we could have prepped? Is the message as good as I think it is? Where are all the kids? Did the leaders call their students? I allow myself to worry about things that needn’t be worried about. The truth is, we were prepared but I still allowed doubt to cloud my mind and that has to stop.
Number crunching: I am pretty good sometimes at reading a lot into attendance numbers and can be pretty hard on myself when there is a low night. I feel responsible; wondering if we offended students the week before, or maybe our group is boring, unfriendly, cliquey, and spiritually shallow or any number of things. My colleague Jason was meeting with his grandfather who worked in youth ministry who shared with him this incredible piece of wisdom. “We used to give each other high fives when 40 students showed up, and beat ourselves up when only 39 came.” It’s so true, and I have been guilty being frustrated when students don’t show up and allowing that to distract me of ministering to those that did come and that is a lose-lose situation.
Not trusting: This can be a big one, where I sometimes don’t trust. I don’t trust that our leaders read the curric or called their kids, that the worship team is going to be ready, that my message is good enough. Worst of all, I don’t trust that God is going to make it happen, and when I do that I try and do it on my own. I have been there so many nights where God did crazy things and transformation happened but somehow that doubt creeps in that tonight might not be that night. I know He is in control, and our leaders care so much for our students and sometimes life gets busy for them too.
I am sure each of us have been here at some point, but the Fall is right around the corner and its time to spend the summer focusing on my heart to make sure that next year I do a lot less of these things. It sounds like I am going to read Philippians 4:6 a few more times too I think.
Where are you letting doubt enter your mind and how does it affect your ministry?
Geoff – (Twitter)