I have been far away from the blogging world for a few months now. Time has been a factor and needing to focus on my family and ministry. But, I had this brewing in me to share so I thought this was the perfect time to start back up.
Fair warning, this is a long rant.
To start, ministry is hard work. If you have worked in ministry this comes at no surprise to you at all. It's messy sometimes, there are sticky situations to work through and it can be emotionally and spiritually draining at points. In some ways, I feel like I sort of jumped into ministry without much thought or really much choice. I married a pastor who was already part time working in the church. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into, and didn't really think my role would be that big anyway. I had planned on graduating college and working full-time. But two babies later, I never finished school and never got a job. =) The first few years of our marriage, I didn't play a huge role in our student ministry. I was pretty much tied down to motherhood and keeping a house in order. But, thankfully my children are at ages where I am able to leave them more often, and this has opened up the opportunity to jump in.
Now, let me explain my attitude towards youth ministry. It wasn't something I ever desired to do, and it's something that has completely intimidated me. But, I got to the point that if our ministry was growing and things were happening, then I wanted to be a part of it as well. I wanted to be front row when lives were being changed, and I wanted to play my role in what God was doing. To be honest, there were times when I started to resent ministry. It was taking my husband out of the house, some nights until late, and I was doing bath and bedtimes alone and I was feeling overwhelmed.
I had no relationship with the students of Grace and no clue what was going on in their lives. It wasn't real to me, therefor didnt feel important to me. So to get involved was going to make this personal for me. Little did I know that getting involved would mean my husband would have me teaching to 75+ students on wednesday nights, leading a small group, facebooking students, meeting them and their parents, etc. Basically everything that terrified me, he was making me do! He "forced" me, in a sense, to jump right in. And I have fallen in love with these students and have absolutely loved getting to know them. They are all amazing. I have never met teenages who just love Jesus and can't wait to get to church to worship him. It's pretty incredible what God is doing with them.
Last month, my husband
It was hard for me to share this because I am a private person. I don't want my dirty laundry aired for the world to know. I want my past in my past and I dont want to talk about it, nor have anyone else talking about it. But I knew that if God had done something so wonderful in my life, it's my obligation to share it and give him the glory for it.
A week passes and I didn't really receive alot of feedback from students. Several of the leaders had messaged me and encouraged me, thanking me for sharing, but I was questioning whether I should have shared or not. I was thinking no one probably wanted to hear a message from me, therefore it was probably pretty pointless for me to share and all that preparation and stress was in vane. I was asking God whether or not I actually heard from Him, questioning if the message was from Him or not. I know this was just the devil trying to discourage me. I had already made up my mind I was NEVER speaking again. It was too much work and I don't like doing it. =)
But a week later on wednesday night a mother and her student approaced me after the service. I won't share all of this girl's story for her privacy, but basically she was in a relaionship, her mother did not want her in it and was deciding how to deal with it. During my message, she heard God speak to her and basically tell her she needed to end the relationship. I think hearing what I went through while in a relationship that was not approved by God, really opened her heart to hear from God regarding her own relationship. Now I fully believe that if God spoke that to her, it was to save her from lots of heartache. He knows what is best for us.
I felt pretty honored to have played a role in this sweet girl's life. I know it wasn't me who spoke to her and told her to end this relationship. I know God could have done it any time and she could have listened. But, for some reason, He allowed it to happen this way. He ordained it that she would be there that night with a softened heart to hear from Him. He allowed me to be a part of this. Just as much as this has changed her life, it also changed my perspective on ministry completely. THIS is why we do it. This is why we sacrifice family time for the sake of ministry. This is why we put time and money into ministry. THIS is why we have stress at times in our home and attacks from Satan on our family. Because we realize what is at stake. Lives. It's all worth it.
I am thankful I finally came to this point. That I can truly say I love ministry and I love being a part of what God is doing at Grace. If you are not involved at a church, you should come check out ours. If you do attend Grace, make sure you are involved in our church wholeheartedly. You too can have moments like I did where you are part of God changing someone's life. He can use every single one of us to impact lives. We cannot successfully run our ministries without volunteers. We have an amazing team in the youth and Adam and I would never be able to do all this work alone. So get involved church. Serve in the nursery, volunteer in the gKidz or come help us out in the youth. Get involved in a gGroup, either on sunday morning or through one of mid-week groups. Start a gGroup of your own. Invest in the church, and God will invest in you. Your life will never be the same. I promise.
So if anyone ever wonders why we chose this profession, why we do ministry the way we do, why we run our church the way we do. Because we see that it's working. That lives are being changed as a result of us hearing from God. We have realized that sunday mornings do not exist for us and our family of four (and I would say this for the entire staff of our church). We are there to serve. When I enter the church, I am not there with the intentions of what am I going to receive today or what can I gain from this? I am there to serve others and whatever I receive or gain on the way, is just icing on the cake. This doesn't mean that God is not going to speak to me or that I am not going to receive anything that day, or worship Him through the music. It is just not my main focus. I need to make time during the week to spend time with Jesus and receive from Him so that I can focus on pouring into others when I walk into Grace. This is a challenge for me, and I have not perfected this, but it's a work in progress. I pray that God continues to change my heart into a heart for others. I believe with all my heart that is the reason God calls us into ministry. To serve others and see lives changed as a result.