|“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
~ R.W. Emerson.
An anonymous guest post by a college student who is currently wrestling with discouragement as a YL leader.
beyond the honeymoon phase of leading where everything is awesome. Don’t get me
wrong—I love what I do, but I find that I am
less-than-patiently waiting for the Lord to show me the fruits of some of the
relationships I have been building at the high school. I can get discouraged when I don’t see my
high school friends changing after a year of pouring into them.
And I can source my discouragement to some of my own doubt.
Maybe you can relate. When we leaders focus on a perceived lack of fruit in our
ministry rather than doing ministry, we often:
- Doubt that the Lord has called us to ministry, and consequently
- Doubt Christ’s desire to use us.
But listen to Jesus’ encouragement in John 14:12: “Very
truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,
and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the
Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
This verse doesn’t even hint that God lacks a desire to use
us, instead Jesus says that He WILL use us. If we believe in Him, we will do
even greater things than He did. Is that not insane? Jesus who is truth, said
that we will do greater things than Him and that He is waiting on us to
petition to Him in prayer something that will glorify Him.
Trusting in the Lord to pull those close to us out of
darkness is one thing that we can’t give up on. When I was in high school, even
though I was involved with Young Life and had a good relationship with my
leader, I didn’t change until my senior year.
Three years passed while my leader kept pursuing me, kept
loving me, and kept believing that God was faithful. Now, as a leader myself, I
can look back and see how well I was pursued. That pursuit is the reason I am
leading today. Remember, disciples make disciples. Maybe, like me, you are
wondering if leading is worth it. What if only one person comes to Christ after
three years of pursuit? Listen to what Jesus has to say about it:
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more
rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous
persons who do not need to repent.” Luke
Can you begin every day as a leader confident that if, at
the end of your ministry tenure, only one kid came home that it was completely
worth it? Is one lost kid brought to Christ worth a year, or two, or three
years of waiting? That one lost kid (like me and maybe you, too) could go on to
produce three followers of Christ. Those three could go on to produce twelve,
and in Acts 2 Peter preaches to a crowd and it says that three thousand came to
Christ in a day.
You never know the extent of the change you can make in the
pursuit of one person. With heartfelt thanks to my leader who poured into me, I
can say—it’s worth the wait.