This week, I grabbed a cup of coffee with a high school student. He is a senior and has been the recipient of youth ministry through several avenues for quite sometime. He was reminiscing about the time it meant the most to him and how he hadn’t experienced that way for awhile. I asked him why that specific time was so special. His response was something like this, “Those particular leaders were most interested in us hanging out with them and everything else was secondary.”
The goal of healthy ministry should be: long-term relationship — friendship. It should stem from a desire to truly want to be in a relationship with someone. True discipleship cannot exist outside of this context…can it? When there is a genuine relationship, there is long-term communication and availability.
Putting on a program or giving a speech is really not that hard. What is difficult, is opening up your life to someone, enough, to genuinely care about them.
Jesus does not send us to the nations to make converts. He sends us to make “disciples” (Matthew 28:19).
Are you prepared to make disciples? Are you willing to let someone into your life, so you can pour into theirs? Are you willing to show up in their life? Or do you just want to present something at a cool event and get back to your “real” life?
“For if I do not love them as they are, it will not be they whom I love, and my love will be unreal” – from Waiting for God by Simone Weil.
Before we give our talks or do our events, maybe we should first ask ourselves if we genuinely care about our audience. If not, we are just “a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).