Anyone who does ministry always questions why they do it, and if they are really reaching anybody. I know many people who do not see the fruits of their labor until years later. Some people never see it. I know some older youth leaders who tell me they thought the kid they were always talking to while they were in high school or middle school was hopeless. Then down the road they see them with a family and doing ministry themselves, then they come up to them and thank them for the impact they made on them during high school and the integral role they helped with in their walk with Christ. How amazing is that?
I have been doing youth ministry since I moved to Fresno for 5 years now. I have already been lucky enough to witness the fruits of my labor. Many people I know or who are in my small group that I meet with on Friday nights were once students I mentored, and to see them grow as young men of God, staying on the path is pretty amazing. I still seem to question why I do what I do though. Even this blog sometimes I wonder why I write it, who reads it? Am I reaching anybody? Am I affecting anybody? Am I wasting my time doing this? Who knows!!!!
I’m glad to know what I do is actually helping people or encouraging people. But at the end of the day I have to realize we are all just tools in Gods garden he is using to plant seeds in others, water, and cultivate. All for the glory of God and helping them increase their faith in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Taking credit for what God is actually doing is just foolish. We need to be blessed and honored that God has chosen us to do his work, not the other way around.
So many times we want credit for Gods work, seems like some things never change. They dealt with this dilemma in the early church. In 1 Corinthians the church at Corinth was bickering about which of the apostles they follow and who they give credit to on who brought them to Christ. We see this in the church today, people bicker about which church they go to, and who their favorite pastor is. Aren’t they all doing the same work and have the same purpose? (Expanding Gods kingdom).
Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians 3:4-9 “For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
So all I can say is (and if you are a believer too you can agree). I’m just honored I am making myself available to be used by God and for God. While by no means am I more qualified than anybody else, I am willing and am happy to be able to do the work of the Lord. May I encourage you that you may not be seeing the fruits of your labors now, but God can do amazing things and maybe your only job is to plant the seed in somebody’s life while God has somebody else in mind to water it, and somebody else to cultivate it. Just be faithful, and don’t give up.
-Conquer the Flesh.