My First Two Months In Ministry
After reflecting on my first months in ministry, I considered talking about my newly learned tips for Student Ministry:
Student Engagement: Show them you’re not afraid to be the goofy one, wear it like a badge of honor (like showing off all the nerdy memorabilia that you have in your house, if you don’t have any… I’ve got more than enough to lend out).
The Perfect Pizza Slice to Student Ratio: On average 3.65 (sometimes they don’t eat the crust) to 1… or just one more whole pizza than you think you need… that’s a safer bet.
Although those tips are true and helpful, what I have learned the most in these past 4+ weeks is far more transcendent. Though I've known this truth for sometime, it's never been more clear to me: I need more of Jesus, the students need more of Jesus, and we both find more of what we need in Jesus.
In other words: It’s all about Jesus!
Prior to entering vocational ministry I was struggling with where I was suppose to direct my skills, talents, and gifts. I love the marketplace (what is often referred to as the “secular world"… a term that I have a strong distaste for) and I thought that I would come alongside the local church as a consultant in the marketplace. This innocent desire began to twist and contort how I viewed vocational ministry. The “real Christians” were ones who could manifest their faith in “secular” settings while those who could not handle the tension of being in the world and not of the world worked in the church… extreme right? Once I stepped back from my thoughts, I realized how flawed my perspective was. Ironic that my stance against the false dichotomy of sacred versus secular created a false dichotomy of JV Christian versus Varsity Christian.
The Lord used last year to soften my heart and preface the dependency that I desperately needed. 2016 was the hardest year of my life: Everything from my context, to my health, to my passion was under fire. And the Lord was more than faithful to use ALL of it… nothing was wasted. And now, looking back, I label the year with a quote by Charles Spurgeon, “Oh, how I have learned to love the wave that crashes me against the Rock of Ages.”
So now we come back to the transcendent truth that I have re-learned this past month, which is really just a chapter in the lifelong saga of realizing it more and more. I’ve tried to tap into every skill that I have learned, pulled every proper tool at my disposal, poured out mental and physical capabilities, but nothing makes up for more of Jesus.
In HSM we’ve been studying through Colossians. In 1:27 Paul begins to talk about the passion behind his ministry, the stewardship of the Gospel. “To [the saints] God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
Being in Christ, we have Christ in us, all of His regal majesty has been given to us, we have been transformed into heirs of righteousness, and there is thereby no response but to press forward into maturity. I am not a minister of the Gospel because I have acquired this maturity… I have a lifetime to go, and then some. I strive onward and upward and get the pleasure of leading those around me further into the actualization of this ever present reality, because of the cross of Jesus Christ.
I will always need more of Jesus. The students will always need more of Jesus. And thanks be to Jesus who, due to his inexhaustible riches, is able to supply us with more and more of Him.