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A lot of times we can get into the results game or the comparative game and lose sight of what matters most. We think if only I had that building, that equipment, more staff or more money, then we would be able to do ministry better.
I’ve learned that if you start playing that game it’ll never end. You will always feel like you can do better ministry with more. I think we all know this but sometimes need to be reminded.
God has us where we are, for the work He has for us to do.
That doesn’t mean we can’t set goals or grow and strive to serve more. We just need to know that what matters most should be our motivator and focus. In ministry, the why is always more important than the how, where and who. If you get the why right, the how, where and who will align.
I’ve witnessed God doing amazing things with the ministries in Rwanda with people who are simply focused on introducing people to Jesus Christ with nothing but a bible and the shoes on their feet. I’ve also seen the same focus at Saddleback Church with the resources we have. It doesn’t matter if a ministry is mega or small, if it’s not focused on what matters most it’s not fulfilling its intended purpose. I believe that if we are not watchful we can get caught up in the how, where and who and allow those things to motivate us and drive us in ministry instead what matters most.
I think we can all agree that whether your youth group has 20 kids or 20,000 kids, encountering Jesus Christ in a real authentic way is what matters most. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have, students encountering Jesus Christ in whatever strategy or model your minstry uses is what matters most.
I really want to encourage you to focus on what matters most in the ministry God has you doing. Allow it to motivate and drive what happens in your ministry within the context of your ministry. Here are four questions I want to leave you with that come to my mind when I think about how I continue to pursue what matters most.
1. Am I personally invested in what matters most? How are you helping people encounter Jesus Christ in your personal life? I believe that when you are invested in what matters most it can’t help but spill over into the rest of your life, especially ministry. When I say invested I’m saying what matters most should have priority in my life.
2. Am I motivated by what matters most? This question is simply asking what motivates me every week to do what I do for youth ministry. To give a few examples it could be for self gain, self notoriety, notoriety of the ministry within the church, status, keeping a job, getting a job or is it introducing students to Jesus Christ in a real authentic way. You need to know this because being motivated by anything other than what matters most will not end well for you.
3. Does what matters the most to me agree with what matters the most to God? We need to be aligned with what matters most to God.
4. Do I allow what matters most to speak into what I do? This is basically saying, “as I plan and strategize, am I thinking about what matters most or am I thinking about other things.”
I only listed four but I know there are more. What are some other ways we can keep what matters most as our focus and motivator?
Aaron Crumbey oversees pastoral care for the high school ministry at Saddleback Church. He cares deeply about sharing Christ with students and seeing them reach their full potential in Christ. He's married with three children and loves family time, sports, movies and all things musical among some other things. He also runs www.yoacblog.com.
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