I remember sitting in class at my bible college, in one of the general ministry classes. This stuff won’t apply to me – I’m going to be a youth pastor. And I was young – why do I need to know about funerals and weddings and such. I was planning to work in suburban ministry – I won’t have to deal with difficult situations. I was young – 20 – and didn’t know what I was talking about. But God shook my reality, and has continued to reveal that the brokenness that shakes our world runs from North Canton to Cleveland to Memphis to Mexico City to the Sudan. Things look a bit different but sin has its grips on the world, brokenness ensues, and no matter what city or country you are in – God is going to use you in His redemptive story.
No class ever prepared me for the call that one of my student’s fathers had suddenly died that morning. No class prepared me to answer the question of “why?” I wasn’t prepared to embrace a crying, fatherless boy in his living room.
No class prepared me for the impacts of reaching your community. I didn’t know how to respond when a family reached out and suddenly I was caught in a whirlwind of court appearances – how do you go from watching a student play a crazy game, trying to build a relationship, and then watch them sit in shackles before a judge?
All I can say is God is faithful. For those young or old in ministry – never forget this. Whether you are in the inner city, the rural countryside, across the globe, or between positions. Brokenness shakes our middle schools, our high schools, our world. But Christ has overcome – and He is using you in ways you may never imagine to bring hope to the hopeless.
You may be the only one who has ever made that student or their family feel known – God is using you.
You may be the only one who actually cares enough to go spend time in the community – God is using you.
You may be the only one who is excited to see that seventh grader each week – God is using you.
You may feel unappreciated, overworked, and overwhelmed – God is faithful.
You may feel confused and discouraged – God is faithful.
God will never leave you nor forsake you. Young or old. Thank you for serving, continue to press forward, trust God when you are unprepared, trust God when you are prepared.