Do ministry on purpose! – What use to be done automatically must now be done purposefully. When you start dating someone everything is new and exciting. The time you put into the relationship seems effortless and everything flows perfectly. Well, after a couple of weeks/months/years things aren’t as new as they once were and all the things that were cute early on become common. All the things you did early on which came automatically now must be done purposefully. Being thoughtful and considerate towards one another has to be done purposefully. Because the more the relationship becomes common the more you lose those things. I believe it’s the same in ministry. When you are young in the game of youth ministry everything is exciting. Loving on students is easy and when you see God doing something in their life, you are screaming “that’s awesome” and it gets you so pumped. Then you get a few weeks/months/years into it and things become common.
- You no longer reach out to the new students.
- When God does something awesome in a student’s life you act excited but you’ve seen it happen a million times, so the enthusiasm and appreciation is not from the heart.
- You stop fervently praying for students.
- You no longer show genuine interest in the lives of students.
- You become the “high-fiver’ that ask students, “how are you?” and hope they say fine so you don’t have to hear about their problems.
The list goes on and on. When the newness of something goes away you have to become purposeful about it or you become noneffective.
Some areas you might have to be more purposeful in:
- Reaching out to new students.
- Being genuine in your enthusiasm and appreciation when a students life is changed. Know that you are being used by God to change the course of someone’s life forever.
- Praying for students fervently and expectantly. If you are spending 8 hours a day programming and only 5 minutes praying and seeking God for your students, ministry has possibly become to common.
- Show a genuine interest in all the lives of your students not just the ones you know.
- Seek out students who need your time and love. Ask more detailed questions than just “how are you”. Ask: how’s your family or how’s your walk with Christ?
What has helped me do ministry purposefully has been keeping a heart of thankfulness. I have this exercise I do that helps me stay thankful. I play three of my favorite worship songs and while they are playing I write down everything that I am thankful for. The first song I write down the things I am thankful for concerning my family. The second song I write down the things I am thankful for concerning individual students, and then the third song I write down the things that I’m thankful for concerning ministry. When I am done I can visually see all things I have to be thankful for. Seeing how God has used me in the lives of others gets me excited about what else God can do with my life. Knowing that I don’t deserve the blessings God has chosen to bless me with reignites the fire for ministry and life in Christ for me. I do ministry purposefully when I’m reflective and thankful.
So if you can see yourself in this post and you feel like you are just going through the motions, think about what areas you need to do ministry purposefully. My prayer is that this post starts conversations that moves people back into a healthy place in ministry. The honeymoon phase of ministry is over, now what?
hope it helps