“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that… Don’t compare yourself with others.” – Galatians 6:4 MSG
The worst thing you can do as a pastor, or even a believer, is compare yourself to others. Now, I’m not saying you’re not allowed to listen to other preacher’s style of preaching or teaching and use some techniques for when you preach or teach. That’s not what I’m saying at all. Here lately, God has been stressing to me the condition of my own heart. What I do, is it for God or is it for myself? So many times I think that the reason we begin to do things in ministry is because we want to be better than the church down the road, or be bigger than the youth group sixty miles from here. Encouraged by Pastor Craig Mosgrove’s blog yesterday ( http://disciplemakingdisciples.com/2012/02/26/the-idolatry-of-numbers/ ), I was influenced to write this blog today. Stating from Craig’s blog, what if someone were to ask you how your church was going…how would you respond? Would it be 1) We are doing great! Had this many this service, and this many last service…we’re growing! 2) Man, our kids are growing such a heart for God, it’s not even funny! or both?
The thing I want you guys to look at is Jesus’ ministry. I mean, come on. The guy only had 12 followers. 12. Let me repeat again. 12 followers. He did create program after program after program to figure out ways to reach kids in the community. He simply spoke and people came. He simply went and people followed. So, how can your youth group grow, you ask? Start with focusing on the teens that you have first, then let God go from there. Growth has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with us. It has everything to do with God. For example, in 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul says that he planted the seed, Apollos watered, and God made the growth. So, let me tell you this again, Mr. Youth Pastor With 15 Teens, focus on your teens that you have NOW, and invest into their lives NOW. God has you wherever you are. If you are scrubbing toilets, God has you there for a reason. If you are an associate to a lead pastor that makes you do all of his dirty work, you are there for a reason. Everything you do NOW, God is going to use NOW to prepare you for the future.
A while back, I had the chance to go to a Youth Leader Camp in Roanoke, Virginia called “Reboot.” One of the most amazing times I have had as a leader. Got the chance to meet other leaders in the area, as well as around the state. Our guest speaker that weekend was Jeremy Isaacs, lead pastor for Mount Paron North: Canton campus, and during our second session, I remember feeling heavy. It was like I wanted to see my youth group grow from 30-300 in a matter of seconds, but only if it were that easy. Then, I remember hearing Jeremy talk about the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. The reason why David won that battle that day wasn’t because of his sling shot, but it was because David was faithful is saying “yes” to everything his father told him to do. Obedience and being faithful are two huge key points to ministry spiritual growth. David was just a regular guy who tended to his father’s sheep every day, just like he was asked, but David didn’t realize then that what he was learning in the fields every day would be something that God would use whenever he became King…or if you look, before he became King. If you are faithful and obedient to God, He will take care of the rest.