[if you haven’t already done so, please see this previous post first.]
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Today is the first day of the next stage of my life. I sit right now in my office. My office. It feels a touch weird to say that, if for no other reason than it connotes some sort of ‘adulthood’. I’m not sure at what point one passes through that ephemeral veil that separates child from adult, or if that is even a proper analogy, with the truth being closer to a series of small steps that looked back upon reveal a lifetime’s worth of travel. Perhaps there is not time at which one ‘flips the switch’ to adulthood. Perhaps you simply wake up one day realizing that you are one, have been for some time, and yet have simply not realized it until that moment.
Adulthood entails responsibility. Youth ministry entails responsibility. Responsibility entails faith, hope, and love. I say that because of the sign that has been hung over my desk. ‘These three remain,’ the apostle said once. After all has been stripped away and we are left with eternity, ‘these three remain,’ and you have called me to be a conduit for and participant in a ministry of faith, hope, and love.
You know I can’t do this job.
You know that apart from a supernatural working of your grace in my life I am going to thoroughly thrash this thing to pieces.
I hate that I struggle with the universal male issue of passivity and complacency. These things are antithetical to the call of the gospel. You have called us as believers to be salt and light in a world of darkness and death. I need your help. I need your forgiveness. Every day. I know myself. I know that I will do everything in my own power to try and force things to happen. I know that, given my faithless nature, I will look to the approval of others before I look to you for approval of my ministry. Even saying ‘my’ ministry sounds so like me. It is your ministry in which I participate. Orchard Christian Fellowship does not exist for itself, for the betterment of its own people, nor even simply for the betterment of those around it. It does those things, and rightly so, but its primary purpose is to glorify you in the world. When we worship you rightly, when we place our own desires down and pick up your own, when the name of Jesus is made great and our own names made small, then we are truly participating in the ministry of the gospel in southern New Hampshire.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Please guide me in all that I do. Please show me the vision for youth ministry at the Orchard. Please give me a heart that loves these kids as they deserve to be loved. Please give me a heart that breaks when the effects of sin and the attacks of the evil one and his crew tear through them as individuals and as a community. Open my eyes to the ways in which they are not currently following hard after you. Break their hearts for the sin which is ensnaring them. Help us become a community reaching a community. That students will feel free to allow others into their lives. That Orchard Youth will be a safe place for hurting people.
It’s only by your grace that this ministry can be fruitful. And fruitfulness is measured in soul care and life change, not by numbers and hype. Please keep this in the front of my mind. Please help me to rely on your strength every day. May the name of Jesus be made great and not my own.
Κύριε ἐλέησον, Χριστὲ ἐλέησον, Κύριε ἐλέησον.
[Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.]