I was 12 years old. Sitting on Christmas Eve wondering what I would get the next morning. My parents hadn’t put the presents out yet so I wanted to desperately go to sleep yet my adrenaline wouldn’t let me. Finally, I dozed off. When I woke up, I ran up the stairs to find my parents standing in the kitchen.
“We have to eat breakfast together first, then you can open you presents.”
WHAT!? IT’S CHRISTMAS MORNING!!!
Of course I did not win this argument…so we ate breakfast. I was the first one done. My parents took their dandy time. At the end of it all, they looked up at my brother and I and asked, “Do you know the reason we celebrate Christmas?”
“Yes, yes, Jesus was born.”
“Good. I want you to remember that always. Pass it on to your children as well. It is always better to give than to receive.”
You see it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of ministry, the excitement of constant numerical growth, the excitement of awesome music or cool creative elements, and it’s easy to get caught up in good things. But are they the best things?
Being a parent has taught me some things when it comes to ministry. It’s taught me that I need to be more intentional with my time. I need to be more intentional with my words.
Ministry does the same thing. We can waste so much time with people and never develop them. I was watching a show on MTV on a plane ride home from Hawaii a few weeks ago. I was sort of in a daze but this show caught my attention. It was called the World of Jenks. This guy was helping student with disabilities try and get acclimated. He was being intentional with him. He made a statement at the end of the show. He had tried everything he could to help this student adjust to “normal life” without much reward. He ended the show by saying this, “I understood that I tried to bring him into my world but what I needed to do was go into his.”
One thing we see with Jesus is that he didn’t e-mail or text or snail mail someone to come follow him. He called them out by name. He called out Peter, Andrew, James, and John. He said to them “Come follow me!” We have to be this intentional. We cannot expect students, parents, potential leaders to just walk up to us and say, “Make us fishers of men!” We must be intentional about calling them, texting them, getting involved in their lives, going to their sporting events, concerts, and family gatherings.
I think we need to re-read and memorize 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (emphasis added). Entrust and Teach by their nature are active verbs! We need to be intentional about entrusting what God has given to us to reliable people who will do the same. So the question is, who is your Timothy? Who are you entrusting right now?
A generation of spiritually hungry students are waiting like it’s Christmas morning. Are we going to continue to entertain them or are we going to give them something that will sustain them? Ministry was never meant to be a show, it was meant to show Jesus.
Are you doing that?
Chris Comstock has a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Youth Ministry from North Greenville University and is currently finishing his Masters of Divinity in Advanced Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Chris has served as the Student Minister at Enoree Baptist Church in Travelers Rest, South Carolina for the past two years.