Is your ministry spiritual?
A) Yes B) No C) Is this a trick?
This a weird, possibly uncomfortable question: How do you KNOW that your ministry with kids is spiritual?
Before you close your web browser, muttering ‘trick question… guilt-trip... blah blah blah’, think about what the answer is.
The answer doesn’t come quickly to mind, because the spiritual dynamics of what we DO with youth kids at our youth groups are mostly hidden from our view. And, well, it is kind of a trick question (sorry…) There’s no single answer, if you’re a fan of the bible and of having good theology for your ministry.
Even recognising there’s a core of ‘divine working’ in the middle of your work with kids, is a huge step in the right direction. Have you realised it? God has brought his amazing grace into your life – first by Jesus & the Cross – and ALSO by His holy spirit living in you. For what? So that God can move, by His grace AGAIN, in someone else’s life.
Paul was in touch with the reality of being “God Powered” to do all of the mighty ministry HE did. It’s why he made such an impact on so many. God planned in advance to use Paul, and gave him his unique Apostolic, Book-of-Romans-Writing spiritual gifts. That Godly grace Paul was given impacted many people, just as he’d planned.
Maybe YOU want to impact many people too - young people, their parents, their friends. Have a look at what Paul’s whole concept of himself was BUILT ON. His own words in the book of Romans (chapter 8 verse 11):
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
At our Youth Ministry retreat to begin the year, we all made a commitment to fulfilling a role that only we can fulfil for ourselves – a bit of ‘self leadership.’
We all agreed to: "Develop our God-given gifting and actively employ it among the young people.”
The two steps that seem necessary, from my point of view as a leader, are these:
- First – be bold in asking God to ‘power you up’ when you meet with kids – on Friday night, growth group, Sunday night and wherever. Boldness includes expecting Him to make you able to do your unique God-thing that your personality can do when empowered by grace.
- Second – honestly review how your use of gifts is going when you’re with kids. Sometimes, seeing a mentor regularly is the best way to look openly and honestly at what you ARE and are NOT gifted in.
The difference you’ll feel in seeking Spiritual Power from God to do what you do with kids is enormous. You may not do ALL of the jobs which you thought you should do when you first started leading youth. But the strengthening of your impact on them will blow you away: it’s nothing like faking.
God makes an impact on a kids life through His spiritual gifts to you.
Can you top that? Don’t even try.