I receive a regular e-mail from Simply Youth Ministry with different thoughts and insights about youth ministry. This week’s is focusing on the heart. Monday’s devo was excellent and I wanted to re-post it. I thought what they said about fakers was right on.
Youth Ministry Basics: A Heart for God
by Kurt Johnson & Josh Griffin
I (Josh) did a survey on my blog not too long ago asking youth workers to share about their Bible reading and personal time with God. The results from the more than 400 votes were staggering – almost 10% of youth workers hadn’t cracked their Bibles in a week and only 18% considered their Bible reading “solid”.
Here’s the deal – we get it…there are certainly seasons where you are closer to God than others. Certain times of the year or patterns that lend themselves to spending time with God, or that make it tough to do. But if we were honest …it’s fair to say that if youth workers aren’t reading their Bibles, the whole thing is going to collapse sooner rather than later. And if we’re being really honest … we would admit to you that from time to time we’ve been caught up in the pace of youth ministry and not connected significantly to Christ either. And if we’re being really, really honest…we would admit it happens more often than it should.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing …” John 15:5
Youth pastors are great fakers. That’s pretty harsh, but honestly – most Christians are good fakers. We pretend that we’re walking with God by using the correct Christian subculture language. We count listening to Gungor on our 4-minute commute to the church office as our devotions for the day. We subscribe to the Verse of the Day on Twitter (@abibleverse) and every once in a while even look at it.
You can fake it for a while … but not forever. Too often we hide behind charisma, talents, gifts and abilities when the real us is dying in a spiritual pile. This type of shallow spirituality makes us an easy target for the Enemy and prime candidates for a sudden stumble or fall. God has gifted you, but don’t arrogantly think you can lead without him. Follow THE leader!
Recommit to a genuine, ongoing relationship with Christ as you minister in His Name. Good youth ministry starts with a leader whose heart is sold-out to Christ. Good youth ministry is done by youth workers connected to the vine. Let today be the first day when we start to change the statistic and t is rare the youth worker who isn’t connected to Christ daily.
Here’s some practical advice from youth workers in the trenches who are finding creative ways to spend time with God:
– Before you look at any screen, spend time with God.
– Take the first few minutes of your office hours in prayer
– Pray with your spouse before bed each night – Is it okay for me (Kurt) to admit that this one is tough for me?
– Block out one afternoon a month to reconnect with God
– Use one of YouVersion.com’s reading plans on your Evo