This past weekend, our Church had the privilege to host The Pause Student Conference. Worship was led by The Dutton Band and our Speaker for the weekend was Jon Randles. It was a tremendous weekend. God’s Spirit moved and we saw young people respond to His calling. But this post is not about the success of a student ministry event.
It was in the third and final large group session on Saturday Night, I was sitting in the back of the room, looking around at students and leaders reflecting on the weekend. As my thoughts processed, I tuned in and out on the message that was being shared. And during one of those times of being tuned in and listening, through the words of my friend, Jon Randles, my heart was pierced with conviction. The Lord spoke to my heart this haunting truth, “Jason, you love your ministry more than you love Me.” And you know what? He was right. Somehow I had reached a point where I loved hanging out and ministering to students more than I loved spending time with Jesus. I had reached a point where I loved leading out in worship more than I loved my personal worship time with the Savior.
The real truth is, I can spend hours upon hours planning activities, conferences, events, meetings and Bible studies that are designed to minister to students. But if I am not seeking the face of God while planning those events, there can be no power in that ministry. I can plan out the best set of worship songs and perform them flawlessly, but if my heart and mind are not focused on my audience of One, there is no power behind that worship. It’s like clanging gongs and noisy cymbals. There is no purpose.
In my pursuit of a successful Student Ministry and planning event after event after event I had neglected my pursuit of Christ. My time in daily prayer and study diminished as my time spent in planning worship services increased. My ministry had become an idol. “Anything I put before my God is an idol.”
That night, I laid my idol at the feet of my Savior. I relinquished ownership of “my ministry” and acknowledged the fact that God is the One who gave me a ministry in the first place. He owns it. I have just been given the task of managing it for Him.
I can’t succeed in the work if I’m neglecting The Walk.