Youth Ministry: Your "God-sized" Task
[ym360 Note: Happy Memorial Day! As we do on holidays, we're running a previously-posted article on the ym360 Blog while our team is enjoying the day off. We hope you enjoy yours, as well.]
Many of you have a lot on your mind right now. You're a youth worker, after all. You probably have a long day ahead of you. And for a lot of you this is your night to have your mid-week youth service. But I want to challenge you to stop and think about something for a moment. It's a simple truth, really. But one that should lift your spirits and give you a boost of confidence and empowerment.
The simple truth is this: God does not call us to failure.
It's a theological truth that God puts certain tasks, rolls, and responsibilities before us. There is Kingdom-work God needs done, and the Church is His answer. You are probably in the position you are in because you felt God's leading to accomplish this task. You felt God call you to do the work of leading students deeper in their relationship with Christ.
If this is true, you're not alone. The Bible is chocked full of people who God called to a specific task. Think about it . . .
- Noah was tasked with building a boat.
- Abraham was tasked with taking a journey.
- Moses and Joshua were tasked with leading a people.
- Gideon was tasked with leading an army.
- Solomon was tasked with building a Temple.
- Isaiah was tasked with convicting a people.
- Philip was tasked with preaching to a foreigner.
- Paul was tasked with being a mouthpiece to the Gentiles.
The standard is clear . . . God does indeed call us to certain tasks and responsibilities. But if we're honest, the call to minister to youth can seem overwhelming at times. How many times have you felt unsure of the direction you are taking? How often have you encountered a challenge you felt ill-equipped to handle? When was the last time you looked at a student and wondered if you the work you were doing was making any impact at all? (It's OK to admit it, we've all been there.)
The tasks God puts in front of us are not easy. They aren't meant to be.
God's tasks are by nature God-sized. They are too big for us to handle on our own. But this is actually the coolest part. You see, God never calls us without equipping us. God does not set us up to crash and burn. If God calls us to a task, we can be sure He will empower us to successfully do His work.
- When Moses worried about his task, God said, "I will be with you."
- God told Joshua, "Have no fear. I will be your strength.'
- When Isaiah felt unworthy, God symbolically cleansed him, ensuring Isaiah of His presence and empowerment.
- God made sure Gideon knew who was the REAL power source behind Gideon's task.
- The Lord came to Paul in a vision to empower him to keep preaching, keep evangelizing.
In every case, God encouraged and empowered those He called. Through His sovereignty, His Spirit, and His Word, God leads us to actively embrace the tasks He puts before us. He is with us, and gives us the strength to move forward. We succeed when, in humility, we recognize that we are inadequate to achieve any Kingdom-task on our own. When we obediently and faithfully rely on the power of the One who calls us, God will use us to achieve His purposes.
God does not call us to failure.
Now, this doesn't mean we won't fail. (Ask Jonah how his task went.) When called to Kingdom-tasks, plenty of us do indeed fail. But it's not because God left us high-and-dry. And we can be confident that God works to redeem our failures, teaching us where we fell short and preparing us for future tasks.
And it doesn't mean our task will be all that fun. Hosea's sure wasn't. And for that matter, neither was Ezekiel's. There were days when Paul probably didn't like getting persecuted for Christ's name. But God's plan calls for the Church to be about His work. We are God's hands and feet on this earth. When we're obedient to the tasks God puts in front of us, depending on His strength, wisdom, guidance, and presence to lead us, we find ourselves in the very center of God's will. And it is a wonderful place to be.
So be encouraged today that God is empowering you to lead out in the tasks He has put before you. You are called and equipped. God will not call you to fail.