Sunday, June 1, 2008

The greatest gift of ministry

For the past year I have been blessed to work with a youth team of 5 adults. One by one they signed on (starting a year prior) and over time they have each up'd their commitment to the youth and the ministry. For the last 8 months we have been meeting to strengthen their skills, their Bible knowledge, and their confidence in working with the youth in faith matters.

The greatest blessing in this ministry has been watching each person come into his/her own in ministry. For a couple it was moving from reluctance in leading Bible study to "if I have the Serendipity Bible, I can do that by myself, no problem." That may seem minor, but they have their own confidence and self-assuredness that wasn't present early on. Some would do it, but only in case of emergency or only if I were there to help, but now they enjoy it and feel comfortable in it.

For another she started in programming. She'd help with the fun stuff, as long as I didn't make her lead Bible study or stand up in front of the church. Even she has moved leaps and bounds and she is a front runner in the ministry. It's unbelievably powerful to watch her blossom in ministry.

I have always loved kids and enjoy their wonderment and learning, how they just latch onto things and are sponges in absorbing the world around them. And at the same time I love teaching adults, helping to insert new and interesting knowledge into their lives. But this is a new experience--it's the best of both worlds, both the giving of knowledge and the sponge like growth. This is what makes ministry worthwhile.

Okay, well, actually there are lots of things that make ministry worthwhile--helping in a time of need, offering counsel through a difficult situation, accompanying people in their faith journey. But this business of being around long enough to see true development and blessing over time, this is what ministry dreams are made of!

I couldn't ask for a better gift as I get ready to leave this place: seeing how much people love to be in ministry, having them claim it for themselves, offering to do more, and a willingness to be stretched in new ways and being blessed because of it. Wow. I'm awestruck. It's an amazing and incredible feeling.

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