August 7, 2011
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called” John Moorhead, Senior Pastor, Christ’s Body Ministries
I thought I knew the answer to the question “What are you going to do when you grow up?” I was in fact going to be a youth pastor, to lead a new generation of young people in discovery of the heart of God. I thought God had told me He wanted me to do this but with all things with God, we don’t get the full picture right away.
Over the past year I’ve found it increasingly difficult to relate to the youth at the church I’ve been serving in. I still love them I’ve just found a disconnect that can only be described as, well a void. This disconnect was partially my fault because, as an unhealthy, apathetic personality I didn’t do well with the small group that God had entrusted me with. But there was another disconnect growing, I found I could no long discuss theology with them on their level. That is to say, all the knowledge from increased theological study that I can only attribute to the grace of God. Since I started feeling this way God has given me a way to relate to them what I’m learning but that was only after we bridged a gap.
The Invitation to Suffer
I’ve said it before, but as a good friend pointed out recently, I have a very personal view of a Big God. God and I carry out conversations with the father in heaven on a regular basis. I think our relationship operates this way because God knows I need that step by step guidance (because He didn’t see fit to give me the gift of discernment)
So I was talking to God in the shower of all places and God dropped a bomb shell on me. Here I was ready to go back to school to continue studying Urban Youth Ministry and all of a sudden God says “I want you to drop the youth emphasis, I want you to pursue me to the pulpit.” Now for anyone who has been around when I preach you know that I get nervous when I’m about to go out. This is a good thing because the reason I get nervous is because when I’m preaching I’m speaking out of God’s word and that’s a pretty big responsibility, no not big, huge. I have to step back and let the spirit lead the words out of my mouth.
This is also a disquieting invitation because God is asking me to shepherd His people, and He’s inviting me to do it in the most broken places. Now I’ve learned a lot this summer about pain, listening and suffering. I’ve learned a lot about dealing with it too but when you are ministering to people like the ones I worked at Christ’s Body Ministries it’s very easy to get emotional burn out.
I once asked God why I emphasize so well with people who are hurting, could this gift of empathy be so I can care for the body of Christ? I ask you for your prayers as I explore the topic of pain further through my THE TRUTH series from 10:31 Ministries this year. I also ask for your prayers as I continue to seek God’s heart on this matter because I think I’ve proven I far from know it all, or have the big picture.