Anyone who knows me knows I’m a little bit forgetful. This is something that I have been working on for quite some time. I forget names, my keys, my phone, and the pen that I stuck behind my ear a few hours ago. I have taken to writing in journals to remind myself of my to-do’s. But something I can’t believe I forget is my purpose for ministry. I am amazed that I can get so off track when pursuing the business of life and ministry. This business leads me to neglecting my true purpose as a pastor and too often my own spiritual growth.
About a month ago I took a trip to St. Petersburg Florida and had the privilege to meet Brian Wang, the Area Director for K-Life in St. Pete. Since becoming involved in student ministry I have had limited interactions with leaders of parachurch organizations. I have worked exclusively in the realms of local church ministry and have had a certain view of “outside” organizations. I feel that this is true for many who work within the church. We often view anyone who is not working in the church as a competitor. We forget that we are fighting for the same cause…the cause of Christ. Allow me point back to the purpose of this blog.
“The purpose behind this blog is to equip parents, youth, and youth pastors to make a mark on this generation and to stop fighting each other and rather work together to see the great commission mobilized in our communities.”
St. Pete K-Life is a vibrant and healthy ministry. It has a huge impact on the community and more importantly on individuals. As Brian and I got to spend some time together Brian’s vision and fervor for ministry started to rub off on me. I quickly realized that I needed to refocus myself and my vision. Brian shared St. Pete K-Life’s key verse and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
1 Thessalonians 2:8 (ESV)
As I wrote before, I am amazed that I can lose track of my vision so easily. I fully admit that I am a little bit forgetful, but forgetting my purpose and vision is not like misplacing my keys or forgetting to send an email. It is like forgetting to eat or sleep. Purpose and vision are necessities…especially since purpose dictates how you operate for Christ. I have read over this verse many times before…but this time it was new. This verse fully expresses the goal of student ministry and ministry as a whole. We are to share the gospel of God’s grace with others, but that is not where it stops. We are also to share ourselves as representatives of Christ. We are to come beside others in daily life and walk with them as examples of Christ. We are to be mentors and be mentored. Sharing our lives with others goes beyond spending time with them because it is in our job description, but because we genuinely love them and desire them. Somewhere along the way I became more focused on the process of “doing” ministry. I lost a little bit of my vision. I settled back on my heals and was not ready for action. I did not completely fall of track or give up pursuing Christ and students. I simply forgot. This can happen so easily…often without us noticing it…that one day you come to and wonder what you have been doing for the past weeks, months, or even years.
Since coming back from St. Pete I have shared the 1 Thess. 2:8 concept of relational ministry in every one of my leadership meetings. I have been intentional about casting vision for sharing the gospel and our lives with students. I have made this vision a part of my daily life. I read 1 Thessalonians 2:8 every day and commit it to prayer. I am sure that this post is nothing new for many of you. The thoughts contained in this post were nothing new to me either, but God allowed me to see things in a little different light. It is my prayer that you will not forget your purpose, but that this verse will help you refocus your ministry and spiritual life as well.
Posted on December 9, 2011, in Leadership and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Family Ministry, Focus, Leadership, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.