15,000 years ago when you went out into the wild and you got nervous, you turned the other way. Journeying into the uncomfortable or unknown could be fatal. Today that same instinct exists. When you meet someone new or find yourself facing an uncomfortable situation, your mind and body often tell you to run. Author Mel Robbins argues that this inclination is rooted in our DNA and is holding us back in so many ways. Youth ministry requires you to be bold and journey into the difficult moments of communities and the families you serve. Are you being held back by nerves or fear?
When was the last time you prayed with someone out in public? When was the last time you prayed with a stranger, not for a stranger but with a stranger? The calling of youth ministry is one that requires you to be confident and courageous.
Confidence is an easy one to wrap our minds around but difficult to wrap our lives around. God has called you to ministry. He created you with purpose and on purpose, rich with gifts and talents. Leading young people to Jesus is one of those purposes. You are an instrument in His worthy hands. God will work through you and, at times, in spite of you. Nevertheless, you can have confidence that sharing God’s love with others is essential to your identity.
There are times when this is extremely difficult, like when you make your way to find a seat in the student section at a High School football game. Or maybe you’re reading an email from an angry parent for the fifth time. Don’t let these challenging moments drown out the reality that you were made for this. Move forward with CONFIDENCE. This mission is part of who you are.
You can have confidence that sharing God’s love with others is essential to your identity
Knowing God’s will for you and doing it are two different things. This is where courage becomes vital. God calls you into the deep (Luke 5:4). God challenges you to go to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15). He asks you to pick up your cross (Mt 16:24). All these things can be terrifying. I struggle to make my daily yes to the Lord and yet God is calling each of us to an adventure greater than just membership in His Church, God calls us to mission.
Practice your faith in the uncomfortable moments, and each day stretch yourself a bit further. Pray to see the moments where God is calling you to share His truth and the courage to respond. Examine your faith. If you are not uncomfortable because of your faith, then your dependence on God is nothing more than a mental commitment to comfort a lukewarm faith.
I struggle to make my daily yes to the Lord and yet God is calling each of us to an adventure greater than just membership in His Church, God calls us to mission.
Mel Robbins, in her new book The 5 Second Rule, suggests that overcoming a fear of action can be done by simply counting down from five to one, and then taking action. When you find yourself resisting taking an action, often when you are nervous, or worried about what people may think, or other resisting tendencies, counting from five to one will engage your mind in some type of action that will block the worry. Then once you get to one, jump into the action.
I want to challenge you this week to try it with something simple. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than normal and then once it goes off, count from five to one and get out of bed and get going. Then apply it in another area. Put your cell phone in a drawer and anytime you desire to reach for it to check social media or email, count from five to one and move away from your phone. Growing strength for courage will take time. But this little trick can be a powerful springboard to put the nerves aside and your faith into action.
Let me know how it works for you or email me your tricks for being courageous when it comes to ministry.
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