To be in ministry is to be in tension. At the same time it is possible, perhaps even likely, that you feel unworthy and inclined to grovel (ala Wayne and Garth—or even Moses), and you are agitated that some of the people you work with can be so dull as to not immediately recognize your amazing abilities and the validity of your calling to ministry. Furthermore, in ministry you can experience in the same day, the same hour, a terrific sense of loss over a failed event and consequently a fair bit of anger and resentment over the failure (especially if the “failure” means a small turn out), only to later feel like you’ve only been along for the ride anyway when God pulls off some amazing work of spiritual change in one of your kid’s lives.
So whose ministry is it, anyway? The question was posed to me pretty early on in my first full-time position of church-based youth ministry. As near as I can recall I mumbled something about it being God’s ministry. Of course, at the time this was the theologically sound response, it seemed to me. Now if someone asked me, “Is this youth ministry yours, or God’s?” I would reply, “Yes.” In many ways the question isn’t even valid, let alone valuable. It suggests, whether it means to or not, that it is relatively easy to make a distinction between God’s part in your ministry and your part in it. It isn’t easy.
To be engaged in ministry means you are cooperating with God, to the best of your abilities and giftedness. It also means that sometimes your natural sense of investment in what you are doing gets in the way of ministry.
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