We have to get this right! We are called to a higher standard because we lead and teach vulnerable young hearts and minds. Scripture continually speaks of the high calling and responsibility given to leaders. I find it personally humbling to read through the New Testament. . . listening for, looking at, and considering the many passages on those who are gifted and called to lead and teach. There are many reminders of who to be, how to teach, and what to teach. And then there are warnings regarding getting it wrong. Perhaps most sobering of all are those words of Jesus in Matthew 18:6: “Whoever causes one of those little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and be drowned in the depth of the sea.” It is the combination of leadership marching orders and then warnings like this one that are ever-present reminders of my personal need to seek, understand, interpret, and apply the Truths of God’s Word in my own life, and then to faithfully teach them to the next generations.

Youthworkers, as you sit under training and align yourselves with movements, teachers, and books. . . use wisdom and discernment. Listen carefully, running everything you see, hear, and experience through the filter of God’s Word. . . letting that which is good, true, and right fall into your life and ministry, while assigning that which is not to the ash heap. We have to get this right!

Consider these words from John Calvin: “No one is worthy of being heard unless he is a true minister of God. Two things are necessary to prove that: a divine call as well as faithfulness and integrity. So we may safely reject anyone who pushes himself forward, pretending to be a prophet (teacher), for God alone may claim the right of being heard. . . . God, in the first place, chooses His prophets (teachers) and commands them what to say, dictating to them, as it were, His message. Thus a prophet (teacher) may not declare anything he devises but only be a herald of God’s message.”

Lord, give us wise and discerning minds and hearts. Show us clearly when to lean in further to listen and learn, and when to walk away. Lead us into leading humbly with faithfulness to You and Your Word.

Note: if you’d like to dig deeper into what it means to be a faithful ministry leader, I highly recommend this book by Rico Tice: Faithful Leaders and the Things That Matter Most.

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