Character…

Today on Twitter Rick Warren gave a quote that I think every youth worker should take to heart and consider…

Never waste energy trying to be well-known. Today’s hero is tomorrow’s zero. U work on character & leave reputation to Him…

Many people hold fast to the sad reality that many youth workers will leave ministry all together because of burn out. I believe that burn out itself can be avoided if we build a foundation in are own lives that is centered on the power of God and building healthy character. Let’s be real honest for a minute about the world youth ministry shall we?

It’s easy to play the hero isn’t it?

It’s easy to want to be the hero isn’t it?

  • We have students who look up to us who think that we somehow have a different connection with God altogether…
  • Some of us love ministry because students make great followers and it feels good to have people look up to us…
  • We have parents who are working as hard as they can to help their kids succeed, but see us as ‘answer’ sometimes… When we do well for them, we can elevate ourselves to hero status…
  • We go to youth ministry conferences and it’s easy to look at the guys and gals on stage and consider them as a hero in youth ministry…
  • Sometimes in the trenches we grind out a week and do our best for God, but yet secretly hope that we have been noticed by someone important… Am I right?

The Problem: When you and I constantly long for hero status in ministry, it is easy to make decisions that over time can easily lead to burn out… We say yes to be the hero and say no to staple foundations that will help us hang in for the long haul…We search for the hero status and lose sight of our walk with God. We strive for the recognition while we are unable to recognize when we are being unhealthy with our schedules… And the worst thing I think: We lead students to follow unhealthy habits that could be huge stumbling blocks for them now and later…

I have learned some of these tough lessons at times and I have seen some good friends burn out and fall because of the hero focus. I want to be honest enough to uncover the ‘hero shortcuts’ to ministry. However…

When We allow God’s Power to Build our Character:

1) We have Clearer Vision for a Health Ministry

2) We are not Swayed by the ‘Latest Thing’

3) We  give the Glory to God, not ourselves

4) We Lead Students to Follow Jesus, not the Hero

5) We Hang in the Long Haul…

This week, I encourage you to ask God to show you how you are motivated to make your decisions? Are Secure in who you are or are you being the hero? Are confident in the character God has given you? Do you need Him to lead your decisions better?

Bottom Line: Are you and I Heroes in ministry or do we have Christ-centered character?

Phil <><




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