Monday, August 23, 2010

We're All In This Together

Jasper Speaks:

Being a student leader can be a lonely road. We often are the misunderstood person in our church. How could anyone in their right mind ever want to spend endless hours with teenagers? Who would be willing to sacrifice sleep, good food and even sometimes comfort to pour their lives into the next generation? Even fellow staff members and church leaders can often give us that condescending, "bless your heart" look. Sometimes this lone ranger mentality affects the way we do ministry. We try to convince students on a regular basis that they need to find friendship and accountability to thrive in their walk with Christ. Many times, however, we do not make these relationships a vital part of our lives.

When I preach on the importance of relationships I am often drawn to Ecclesiastes 4:

    "I turned my head and saw yet another wisp of smoke on its way to nothingness:
    a solitary person, completely alone—no children, no family, no friends—yet working
    obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering
    to ask, "Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?" 

   It's better to have a partner than go it alone.
   Share the work, share the wealth.
   And if one falls down, the other helps,
   But if there's no one to help, tough!

  Two in a bed warm each other.
   Alone, you shiver all night.

  By yourself you're unprotected.
   With a friend you can face the worst.
   Can you round up a third?
   A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped."

We are not ever meant to go this life alone. Still, I have felt like I am working like a dog and no one cares a lot of times. Just as our students need others along the road, we need people coming alongside us to strengthen and encourage us. I think it is all too easy to get caught up in doing what we feel God has called us to do and letting our focus narrow to a point that we do not see the need for others. I think that is exactly what the enemy wants.

Satan knows that a saint on his own is vulnerable. We have no one to share are burdens with. We have no one to hold us accountable. When we are weak there is no one to remind us of the Truth. The enemy's attacks can be strong then and he wants to kick us when we are down. This can result in discouragement at the least and major spiritual failure at the most. I really believe the enemy wants to steal our joy, kill our witness and destroy our lives. I think when we try to do ministry alone, we make his job easier.

I think as Christian leaders we need to do our best to seek out people to walk this road with us. We need to find friendship and accountability with fellow believers. Student ministry is not a solo event. In order to be successful and see a Kingdom difference, we need to establish an army of close friends to walk alongside us down the road of life.

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