There is hope for you! Yes, you! God can use you regardless of what you think. Check this out:
1 Corinthians 1:21
Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.
Praise the Lord! He can use my words no matter how dumb they are. I never feel like I am saying the right thing but God uses my A.D.D. words and transforms lives through them. Too many times I let Satan get me down because I don’t know the right thing to say or even do. Do you ever feel like that? The Bible is constantly telling stories of how the Holy Spirit gives life to the words of people who follow after God.
So what about you? Do you hold back saying something for fear of saying the wrong thing? Then you are in the perfect place to be used by God. If you knew everything then you wouldn’t need Him would you? So what are you going to do about it? Keep your words to yourself or speak out?
Preach it yo!
Today’s post really smacked me in the face. I’ve read this verse before but not in a way that made me realize how much I look for approval in other people. So many times we want other people to tell us things like: “You are doing a great job!” “Thank you!” “Great message” “I really need your help” “Here is a gift card for helping out” “You are awesome” “Can you teach me this…” and the list goes on. We all want people to encourage/uplift us and to honestly puff up our heads. We love to feel loved don’t we? Listen to what Jesus says about this:
7 “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ 9And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”
When I read this verse I felt a punch to my throat and God telling me, “Who are you working for?” I don’t know about you but I look constantly for that approval, those words of affirmation, something that tells me that I am doing this whole ministry thing right. But Jesus says, “stop working for people, work for only me and don’t expect anything, I’ve already given you eternal life, freedom from guilt/stress, peace, forgiveness of sins!”
This is not easy for me to swallow as my whole life I’ve dealt with this:
My love language is words of affirmation:
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
This past summer I took the Strengths Quest and my top strengths were:
Do you know what my highest one was (and I mean outweighed the rest by a ton!)? Ya, significance which says this:
You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional, and successful. And if they aren’t, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. An independent spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work you want to be given free rein, the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so your life is filled with goals, achievements, or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus—and each person is distinct—your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.
I have a long way to go. But, what I’m learning is that I can use affirmation and encouragement from others to fuel me towards Christ’s work for my life…not my own worth.
Who are you working for? Yourself? Others? Where are you seeking approval? (p.s. WordPress automatically puts a “Like this” button at the bottom of my posts, ha!)
p.s. Are you a communicator/speaker in the ministry world? Check out this article from Perry Noble about this topic when it comes to speaking.
Last time in the Crossroads series we talked about Evangelism. How much focus do we put on it when it comes to college ministry (or ministry in general) versus everything else. Today let’s talk about focusing on Discipleship.
I love meeting with students one-on-one and really focusing on what is going on in their lives. I am a problem solver and this is where I feel I can really listen to someone and help them find answers in Christ through the Bible. However, the problem is there are only so many hours in a day. Evangelism can focus on multiple students but when I spend time with a student alone it is that person for one hour and no one else to invest in.
Paul tells us to not just share the Gospel but share our lives as well:
1 Thessalonians 2:8
We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
Jesus even said go and make disciples…not converts:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Based on these verses are we supposed to just focus on discipleship?
Let’s start by defining what a disciple is:
Noun: A personal follower of Jesus during his life, esp. one of the twelve Apostles.
Therefore discipleship is the act of creating/training a person to turn them into a disciple. This means that I need to help students focus on becoming a follower of Christ? To me, that sounds like evangelism. So, shouldn’t I spend a majority of time on that? Or, does it mean that discipleship is more like this video:
or this video:
All these things take time and I only have a small window with the students I have. How do you make the most of your time and balance discipleship with evangelism? Can you do one without the other?
I am at a crossroads. Where do I put my focus as a campus minister? Do I focus on evangelism? Do I focus on building up the body? Do I focus on salvations? Do I focus on leaders? Do I spend my time answering emails in my office? Do I spend more time on campus trying to connect with my students? Do I spend enough time sharing Christ on campus?
These questions flooded my mind this morning in ways that have never made me stop and think like this before. Let’s start with evangelism.
- The spreading of the Christian gospel by preaching or personal witness.
- Zealous advocacy of a cause.
Is my responsibility as a campus minister to get on campus and be zealous about Christ and spread the Christian Gospel? Is my goal to see more souls saved? Am I supposed to get the word out about Romans 10:9-10 as much as possible?
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Should I be trying to get college students saved by praying a prayer and telling them “Now you will be in heaven with me! Woohoo!?” Should I be trying to get students to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” so they can experience God? Sometimes I don’t even feel like that, in fact sometimes I doubt myself being in the presence of God BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL LIKE THAT.
I want to explore these questions I have and hopefully get some feedback. Next time we will bring up discipleship.
Where are you in all of this…whether you are in ministry or not?
Recently, I was talking with someone about how hurt they felt by a person. Many times, as followers of Christ, we end up finding our joy through people. We will never be satisfied when this happens. Check out what my response was and hopefully it will help you see clearly how to remedy this issue.
Sounds like you are hurting pretty bad. But I know the reason you are hurting bad. When you put so much reliance/happiness on a person you will always be failed. Humans will always fail you. Not because we are inherently evil but because we are selfish.
My suggestion would be to put your focus back on God. Through that you will depend on only Him and He will always comfort you. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Also if you go to http://www.usfbcm.com/refuel/?page_id=69 there are some prayers based upon Scripture that will help you focus on God more than yourself. But this can only happen if you trust God. So read your Bible daily to renew your mind on Him (Romans 12:1-2).
What would you say? Would you add anything?