“What’s the best advice you would give to a young youth worker?” Implicit in that question I’ve been asked many, many times is the reality that I’m getting older. I hope that with my increased age has come growth in wisdom. I hope.
There are many ways I’d answer that question. . . most of them shaped by pondering my own history of battling and way-too-often indulging my own unique brand of depravity. My answers typically fall into one of two categories. First, things to pursue. And second, things to avoid.
Both of those categories were brought to mind this morning as I read today’s prayer in Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers book. . . a tool that’s been a helpful companion for a few years now. (Thanks Scotty!). Today’s prayer is titled “A Prayer about the joy of Becoming Less.”
Because my personal battle with my brokenness is shared by all of us who are called to minister to kids, I got to thinking about a trend I’ve seen growing in our youth ministry world. Not only are we faced with the temptation to build our own little kingdom in the world of our kids, but social media has now paved the way for us to indulge our brokenness by pursuing position, fame, and even fortune among our youth ministry peers. And lest you are right now saying “not me!”, well, I also know that our broken selves are prone to rationalize it all away.
So, back to Scotty’s prayer. For the sake of the Gospel, your effectiveness in ministry, and the good of the Kingdom I encourage you to pray, ponder, and pray again these words from today’s prayer. . .
Jesus, what would it be like to want your name to be loved and vindicated a zillion times over mine? What would it be like to wait and listen for your voice a whole lot more than impatiently clamoring for my voice to be heard? That would bring more freedom from my need to be understood and to be in control of my own reputation.
It’s reasonable to assume that we all need to spend less time promoting ourselves, and more time pursuing Christ.