Monday, February 1, 2010

An Honest Request

Well we had some pretty snow here in East Tennessee this weekend. Not a whole lot but pretty good for us and to be honest with you I did a lot of nothing for a few days. We did a lot of sitting around, talking, watching The Office on dvd, playing Nintendo, and doing some reading. Of course when you do a lot of sitting, you usually do a lot of thinking. I know that there are some days when it seems my mind is in a constant whirlwind of many things and this weekend was no different. As I think about what God has called me to do as a youth pastor, I definitely feel an extreme array of emotions: humility, brokenness, frustration, fear, confusion, etc. I won't go into each of these but for a moment lets look at brokenness. As I was doing a lot of thinking, I continued to be broken over the lives of these teenagers I work with. When we look at it, I'm called to help lead students to Jesus, to begin a relationship with Jesus, and to help those who have already began that relationship to fall more in love with Jesus. One thing that I believe most youth pastors deal with, and I'm pretty sure any pastor for that matter, is "apathy". For me one of the toughest things I have had to come to grips with in ministry is that students must decide themselves to love Jesus and to seek His face. I can't force it on them. So it's tough when you preach the Bible and they end up rejecting it. Its hard when you've prepared a message and you pour your heart out and they don't care because they are apathetic. But I, and we, can't let it knock us down. Instead I believe we need to take that frustration and disappointment, and allow it to break us even more. Now don't get me wrong, I see many teenagers who are seeking God, seeking His will in their lives, and are seeking to live a life that glorifies Him.

As I was listening to my iPod one day this weekend a song played and lyrics went like this: "Here I am, ready to give up my life for the One!" Now when I think about these lyrics, I think we all need to be careful to sing songs like this because much of the time we are not willing to give up our own desires, or even our own lives to serve God. This thought breaks my heart. Why wouldn't we? Why wouldn't I? Sometimes I want to serve God comfortably but I come to understand that that isn't even serving God when we make it to fit our own wants. This apathy that I see breaks my heart. Its these things that keep my wife and I awake at night as we seek God's guidance in student ministry. So what can we do about it? Well honestly there is nothing we alone can do to make a change. Instead God must change the heart of apathy and turn it to Him. I say all of this and am honest to ask for your prayers. Please pray for the hearts of students and adults to be turned to God. I have said this many times and will continue to stand by it but I believe that God is calling this generation to take a stand for God like never before. Some don't agree, some don't care, but there are some who see this because they know that with God anything is possible. So pray for your own brokenness and for the brokenness of others to turn their hearts to God and make Him the priority of their life.

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