How To Be A Humble Young Life Team

June 20, 2012

Yesterday I posted about my constant struggle to help God out.  Today’s post continues those thoughts.

The chorus of Andy Osenga’s ‘Firstborn Son’ still rings in my ears.“God, help the man who helps himself. He needs no other devil.” 

It has been over a month since I began processing those lyrics and how they apply to ministry.  I tend to end every week feeling like I didn’t do enough. I could have done more. I should have done more.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that God has called us to be Young Life leaders, not because He needs us, but because He loves us. 

As a father, I don’t want my kids to ever have to work to earn my love.  I don’t want them to become exhausted in doing good. I want them to experience peace, joy, and rest. More than anything, I just want to be with them. 

I have a feeling I’m not the only father who feels that way. 

In an effort to move away from the ‘busyness equals value’ mentality, our Young Life team has decided to take one practical step this summer. 

We’ve decided to pray.

I know it sounds crazy. Ridiculous even. But we’re rebels like that.

Instead of feeling guilty about not hanging out with kids enough…

Instead of trying to be more creative, more savvy, more hip…

Instead of putting the pressure of ministry results on our own efforts… 

We’re deciding to trust God. 

The first ‘YL Nugget’ of wisdom I ever learned in Young Life leader training was “Pray First.”  Bart Scarborough drilled that into our collegiate skulls.  “Pray first, pray first, pray first.”

But what about…

“Pray first.”

But I haven’t…

“Pray first.”

But that kid needs me…

“Pray first.”

I was about tired of praying first. 

I wanted to go do the real ministry. 

Fifteen years later I believe it’s just now starting to sink in. Prayer isn’t just preparation for ministry, it is ministry. It’s the ultimate act of ministry humility. Prayer is relying on God more than ourselves. Prayer is abandoning our pride. It is denying a dependence on our own abilities and acknowledging God’s ability.

One way our YL team has decided to pray is similar to how we do contact work, just consistently showing up.

Every Tuesday night at 8pm we’re meeting at the flagpole at our high school and just praying. No program, no prep, no stress. Just prayer. 

We’re not concerned about who comes or if we have critical mass. We’re inviting teachers, parents, high schoolers, and anyone who wants to pray for Northwest High School. 

It doesn’t feel as productive as taking kids to camp.

It doesn’t feel as logical as pulling off a memorable club. 

It doesn’t feel as impactful as lunchroom contact work. 

It doesn’t feel as meaningful as a good Campaigners discussion. 

It actually feels quite helpless. 

Like we’re not doing anything. 

Like we’re little children who are completely dependent on our Father.

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