sometimes i get frustrated with church ministry. for those of you who don’t know, i’m a pastor but i am also involved in ministry outside of the church through YU. i love serving those people ‘outside’ of ‘the Church’ for a number of reasons, but most of all because they have no expectations. when you are a pastor in a church you are expected to ‘do’ a whole lot of things. especially, being a youth pastor, you can be expected to 1) keep the youth entertained, 2) be responsible for the spiritual growth of the youth, and 3) keep the youth group growing and ‘dynamic’. non-churchy people don’t have these expectations when you come to serve them. they don’t expect growth. all they expect is your presence so long as you keep desiring to be present.
back to the point, sometimes i get frustrated with church ministry. what if on youth night only 8 kids show up? what if i don’t have any real leadership volunteers set up? what if the games are a flop? what if my message is too long/boring/ill-prepared? does this mean something is wrong?
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” _Gal. 0110
“To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness” _Eccl. 0226a
man can be hard to please. in the end, i find that the hardest person to please is myself. i have certain expectations about ministry: how it should go/what it should look like/how youth should react. the problem is, things don’t always work out the way i would have thought. but who am i trying to please? am i trying to please the youth? the pastors? the parents? the Church? myself? how about God? because, ultimately, if my desire is not to please Him, then everything else is meaningless, nothing more than a chasing after the wind.
i’m slowly learning how to strive to please God in ministry. there is much i have to learn, in fact, sometimes i feel like i don’t know a thing. what pleases God more, me hoping for lot’s of youth to come out on sunday night or me pouring my love into the youth that do show up? i think what is most pleasing to God is the sweet aroma that rises up to Him when we love Him and others with everything in us. i’ll probably continue with this sometime later.