Let me just tell you what the big idea of this post is:
If you plan to make disciples then you need to put the knife to the neck of your ego. Your ego must die.
Let me explain what I mean,
On July 1, 2018, I started a new job my new job as the Director of Student Ministries (a fancy title for Youth Pastor). I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement! I was expecting a revival! However, what I encountered was a spiritual war. You see, the other candidate was a young man who had grown up in the church his entire life and had been serving as the part-time Student Ministries Director. As a matter of fact, his family has been at this church for about 30 years. When I say that everyone loves this guy and his family, I’m not exaggerating. And I got to be honest, they should because he and his family are absolutely awesome! However, this decision to not hire him resulted in many people being upset that the elders through prayer felt I was the man God had called for this role in this season. I’m not going to get into all the details, suffice to say it was brutal and I got a little banged up.
However, one of the things I so desperately desired was to build a bridge a with this man who didn’t get the role and see if God would allow us to do ministry together. So I approached him and let him know that if he and his wife desired to still be a part of Student Ministries, there was a place for them. They graciously said they needed some time to think about it (totally understandable).
So, let’s fast forward to last night. This young man and his wife were in the church and we got to talking. He let me know that at least for the time being they would be serving in Children’s Ministry and not in Student Ministry. They made that choice for a variety of reasons but one was to allow me to get some deeper roots with the students without causing any potential issues. I appreciated their thoughtfulness. However, I did proceed to let him know that if he ever wanted to be a guest teacher, pop in to connect with the students, or come on one of the trips with us, that I would love it. The two of us are very different and there is so much I could learn from this young man. He seemed super appreciative of that and I pray it leads to future ministry together.
After they left, someone in the office came up to me and asked if it was “awkward” having this young man working in kids ministry and still being so involved? They also why I would ask him to be a part of my ministry. I took a moment and then responded, “It’s totally awkward but so what. What matters most if the mission of making disciples who make disciples for the glory of God.” I then explained in more detail how me feeling awkward and uncomfortable really doesn’t matter.
Let me be honest with you, the idea of this young man being involved in Student Ministry made me 110% uncomfortable, fearful, and defensive. This is exactly why I knew I needed to ask him to join. My feelings were tied up in egotistical thoughts such as:
- What if the students like him more than me?
- What if parents start campaigning again for him to have the role?
- What if the elders change their mind and let me go?
- What is he does a better job than me?
And so on and so on. It was all about me. None of those thoughts had anything to do with making disciples and glorifying Jesus.
Friends, discipleship is the mission and discipleship is a church effort. While I am the Student Ministries Director, that doesn’t mean I should be the only one discipling these students. These students need the body of Christ in order to become mature disciples of Jesus who make disciples. That young man who didn’t get the job and his wife, know so many of these students and can be such a help in the mission of God with these students. Therefore, I need to kill the ego.