Happy New Year to you! I hope you have made a good start to your new year so far. As we enter into the 2012, I wanted to share 3 healthy ways to begin this new year. Recently, I have been reading through Hebrews and I have found some good reminders to help me (and you) stay healthy. Although, these healthy ways might be familiar to us, it’s always good to have reminders…
Realize you’re not alone: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… Hebrews 12:1a (NIV)
Many Have Gone Before Us: The context of this verse is referring to the martyrs who had gone before and were deemed to be heroes of the faith. Ministry is not a new thing and there are countless lives who bear witness to God’s faithfulness and His ability to work through the lives of ordinary people. There is hope that we can look forward to God using us in our good, bad, and indifferent times of ministry. The key is this: Do you want to be used to make a difference? If the answer is “yes”, we can be confident that God will do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine when His power works through us…
Many Are Making An Impact Today: Not only have countless people gone before us and survived, we have many more ahead of us who are still doing brilliant in youth ministry. With stories of moral failure and challenging situations, it’s easy to focus on the negative. However, we often fail to celebrate the incredible victories of those who are wildly passionate for their ministries and being used by God in powerful ways. I am blessed to know many veterans in ministry who are a great encouragement to me. They help me realize how God will work through me just as He has for them. Yes, there are many challenging stories too, but it’s imperative to have a long-term view and see how God is using others to make an eternal impact in ministry. Who are the veteran youth workers in your life who encourage and challenge you to stay the course?
“Yes, but I am not one of those guys / gals!” – We might not be just like a veteran we look up to, but have you taken time lately to get alongside a veteran youth worker and ask them honest questions about their struggles, hurts, and failings? Have you heard their stories of hitting rock bottom and then seeing God pick them up and achieve great outcomes? Have you spent time discovering their authenticity and understanding how “normal” they are. So often we play the comparison game and think that God only uses “those” kinds of people. How are you taking time to get to know the authentic stories of veteran youth workers in your life?
Often ministry can feel like we are isolated and it feels impossible to hang in for the long-term. Realizing the countless ministry heroes who have gone before us, as well as seeking out the veterans of today, goes a long way to help us stay encouraged when we have “those days.”