Some Assembly Required
This week we started a movie series with our youth entitled “Now Showing”. Last night we showed this clip (above) and talked about purpose and the meaning of life. When asked whether or not our students ever felt like they didn’t have a purpose or that they were out of place, the answer was an instantaneous and emphatic “YES!” Sadly, many of our youth pastors and volunteers also may be feeling this way, despite the fact that God has called them to ministry in some facet. Even parents of teenagers often feel out of place, or void of purpose. Remember that God has called each of us – you and me both – to something much greater than ourselves.
One of the girls in my small group last night put it well when she said that one of the main reasons we feel like we don’t have a purpose is because we’re busy comparing with everyone else. Instead of focusing on God and what He has in store for us, we are comparing our talents, abilities, looks, and fulfilling moments of our lives with the next guy. Naturally, my mind first went to Paul’s analogy of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12:
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…
It is incredibly important to focus on God so that this kind of comparing doesn’t become a part of our lives. It will only cause us to question our purpose even more! The reason I write today has more to do with your and my purpose in each of our specific ministries. I Corinthians 12 is talking particularly about spiritual gifts. The fact is, God gave each person a different combination of spiritual gifts. Everyone has a unique purpose in life, even when it comes to the way in which he can use the gifts God has given him. Find what the purpose is and give it your all!
Notice the very end of the passage that I quoted: “the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” I think this is especially true when it comes to ministry leaders. Last night Jason and I felt that play its role. We have amazing leaders, and we rely on them every week to do what they’re best at. Last night, 4 out of our 5 leaders (other than ourselves of course) were out of town, and 2 of our student leaders were also gone. That meant we had to not only do our own weekly tasks, but we also had the added responsibility of organizing games, getting snacks together, leading worship, running sound and slides, and combining and leading our small groups, among other small tasks. Needless to say, I have an added appreciation for our leaders and student leaders who make things run. Are we capable of doing each of those extra tasks? Absolutely! But they are not our areas of expertise.
I urge you, if it is possible in your ministry setting, to find the one or two areas that you can be an “expert” in and give it your all. There are certain things that you can do better than anybody else. There are other things that you are capable of doing, but somebody else can do better. Let them do those things, stay clear, and focus your time, attention, and energy on the few things. Our ministries should be run with excellence, which can’t be done if there are too many hands in one pot, or if you’re spread too thin throughout many pots. One thing I truly appreciate about my home church is how adamant they are about creating a culture in which you can find these areas and pour into them. The result? An astounding percentage of volunteer power and a standard of excellence with everything they do.
Like Hugo says, machines don’t come with extra parts, they have exactly how much they need. Ministry is the same. God gave us exactly what we need and exactly who we need to do ministry with excellence. Can we get the job done by using those parts (things and people) in other facets? Yes – but nowhere near to the greatness which God has intended.
Posted on April 16, 2012, in Leadership and tagged Authentic, Body of Christ, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Discipleship, Faith, Family Ministry, God, Jesus, Leadership, Life, Parenting, Pastor, Religion, Spiritual Gift, spirituality, Student Ministry, Volunteer, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.