More than Mediocre
What do you do when your job is to draw students closer to Jesus, but you don’t feel close to Jesus?
- Fake it, and teach what you are not living.
- Rely on your own ability while lacking God’s power.
- Just go through the motions.
- Give up and quit.
- All of the above.
If you have been in youth ministry for any length of time, you have probably resorted to “All of the above” at different times in your life. I know I have done most of the above. Isn’t it sad when someone gives up on their calling and quits? Why do some people burn up and fizzle out? More importantly, how do others continue to experience vibrant, life-giving, effective ministries that last for long periods of time?
The answer lies in our level of intimacy with God.
For years I limped along on a mediocre walk with God. No one really noticed my mediocrity. I was doing good things. There was fruit from my efforts. I was not a bad person. Most would say that I was a productive pastor living a great life for God. But I knew that my journey with God was a series of mountain-top moments from which I always seemed to slip back to an acceptable plateau. Mediocre.
This all changed when my wife, Candi, and I carved out eight days for spiritual renewal at a retreat center in the Colorado Rockies. For the first time in years I was on a retreat that someone else planned, and the focus was my own spiritual health. The truth that I had been teaching others for so long began to find a home in my head and heart. My Abba Father loves me and desires to be with me. His main goal for me has nothing to do with my level of production, but rather with the depth of our intimacy. I came away from that retreat more determined than ever to do whatever it takes to cling to intimacy with God.
What drives you? What do you live for? What if we were to make intimacy with God our main goal in life? What if everything else took second place to that? Hey, it’s impossible to stay on top of the mountain with God all the time, but we can choose a course that leads to a life that is much better than mediocre!
Written by Chris Spitters who is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at First Church of God in St. Joseph Michigan.