As many of you already know, I work at my local library, and we have a system where we can put any particular item on "hold" from another library and it will be shipped to ours to be picked up! A neat system I only have worked with until recently when I actually used it! It was such a great feeling putting David Platt's book Radical on hold (which won't be ready for pick up for at least another week) that I also put three more books on hold: Christless Christianity by Michael Horton, Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Today I picked up Christless Christianity and Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry and let me tell you, amazing books so far!! Christless Christianity is about how the Gospel is slowly being twisted and distorted in our American culture today; a more self-centered, self-pleasing, and self-help Gospel leaving out the saving power of Christ's death and resurrection. Since reading it, I see how some of these "therapies" with a "Christian" label have slowly made their way into churches I have attended! Insane, isn't it? It has opened my eyes to the fact that I even accepted some of the teachings, trusting that the pastor knows better when in actuality, he is even unaware! Crazy stuff!
But the one book I've been super loving is Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry! Like I told my friend Sarah yesterday, "I'm really serious about getting into youth ministry. I know it's where God has me headed. I'm excited, but also, quite frankly, I'm scared too." There are certain things (like specific biblical education available at Bible colleges) that I have to wait a while for. It makes my impatience skyrocket because I really want to get into Bible college right now! But you know what? I realize that the most important aspect of the path to youth ministry is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is super important to mature in my faith and grow spiritually everyday before I start working for the LORD in youth ministry. So right now I'm currently focusing more on Him before I go any further. I also knew that if I am serious about getting into the ministry, I should probably seek some advice from other youth pastors or just pastors in general and read some books on how to start and/or get involved in youth ministry, hence why I have Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry. So it's definitely a process that is going to take some immense time, but it will be well worth the efforts in the end.
And another thing that is on my mind that I just want to add, I look at how on fire I am for Christ and the ministry and it is, more or less, the opposite of what I was two years ago. I am definitely a different person and much more spiritually-minded than I was in the past. And I sometimes feel that people (saved and unsaved) think that I think I'm better than them because my relationship with Christ is growing and maturing daily. I do not think that I am better than anyone at all because I myself am I sinner and in need of a Savior just like everyone else! And something else my friend Sarah said yesterday has really stuck in my head since then was this: After I said that I don't want people to think that I'm some preacher person who can't have any fun, she said in response, "I don't mind when people think that about me. I like it." How cool of a response is that? She's not here to please others, but doing the Will of Christ! And if that means people thinking ill of her, so be it! Her boldness for her faith inspires, empowers, and influences me daily! Thank you Sarah for being so bold for Christ!!! It has helped me greatly!
I am serious about youth ministry and it's not just talk! I'm really working towards it; doing what I can for the moment and waiting for God to open doors in the future. But for right now, I'm going to grow in Him and pray and read His Word and get council about how to start a ministry until it's time to move even further! I could use a lot of prayer because I can't do any of this alone. It's exciting, scary, but rewarding :)