It hurts not to be able to do more. There is a part of me that wants to be able to go the extra mile with these students. A part of me that wants to spend hours pounding out messages and creating opportunities that’ll bring teens closer to Christ. But I’m limited, a reality that’s taken years to recognize. I’m limited by so many things, things that I need to:
To embrace what limits us means embracing the path that God has set out in front of us. When you embrace the limits of being:
- A Family Man (or Woman): It means showing your students what a healthy marriage and family looks like. Yes dinner time, vacation, quality family time means you can’t do all the lock-ins, camps, retreats or get togethers you want to do with students. I know family is important to us all, but if we’re honest a tension between the students we care for and the family we’ve committed ourselves to will emerge. To clear the grey remember this, if you aren’t healthy at home, you lose out on your most important support system and you deny your first calling from God.
- A Church Worker: Yes, your job description says youth pastor, but you are more than that and you know deep down inside that’s true. It’s annoying, obnoxious or tiresome when the pastor asks us to help out with setting up chairs because it takes you away from fully focusing on your job, but when you can embrace the fact that your church is short staffed you engage in servant leadership.
- One Person: When you can embrace the fact that you cannot do it all you open the door to allowing other adults to serve alongside of you. We might feel we are good at many things, but really all we’re doing is watering down the fruit. Yeah we might have good ministries results, but great ones come from community.
- Vulnerable: What we need to do is embrace the fact that we not only need help in our ministries but our own personal lives. I don’t know what you struggle with but it might be your weight, it might be anger or your walk with God. If you aren’t embracing your vulnerability and seeking counsel or accountability then you’ll find yourself on a path of destruction.
Now, I’m willing to bet some of you are thinking, “Chris I’ve done this, I’ve embraced my limits.” and that’s great all you have to do is sit in them. Anytime we think we are more than we are we lose sight of Christ. In the end it’s not about bigger, better, attractive, authentic, irresistible, consistent or missional ministry, it’s about how you are living out the Gospel. So before you start saying, “If I only had more…” consider the fact that you are just where you are supposed to be. I’m not saying you deserve more margin, resources and capacity, you might. But what we all need is an awareness that our limits are our friends because they guide us along God’s path for us.
What limits do you struggle with in your ministry?