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Momentum Magazine

Purpose in Ministry: Part 1

Thu, 17 Oct 2013 - 2:24 PM CST

A priest was confronted by a soldier while he was walking down a road in pre-revolutionary Russia.  The soldier, aiming his rifle at the priest, commanded, "Who are you?  Where are you going?  Why are you going there?"  Unfazed, the priest calmly replied, "How much do they pay you?"  Somewhat surprised, the soldier responded, "Twenty-five kopecks a month." The priest paused, and in a deeply thoughtful manner said, "I have a proposal for you.  I'll pay you fifty kopecks each month if you stop me here every day and challenge me to respond to those same three questions."

Don't you wish you had someone that would confront you every day as you opened your front door and asked you those three questions? OK---give me a week to get my life together, and then I would love for someone to confront me with those questions.

Sometimes what people call laziness is actually a lack of defined or communicated purpose. Purpose is the reason one provides to those that would question the validity of a ministry activity. Your detractors will call you lazy or a goof-off for hanging-out with students eating pizza and playing basketball. But that is because they cannot answer the why question, as you are able. The why question states unequivocally that you are developing relationships with students, and that from those relationships will develop God-encounters. There will be divine moments when a student's life trajectory is changed because an adult invested time on and off the court. That's WHY you do ministry, and eating pizza can be ministry.

Rob Hawthorne wrote, "Purpose is still the point-the peaceful center around which all dynamic leadership revolves." You will still need to discover the point for each activity you undertake. You do this to be a good steward of the time; not only yours, but of students' and the church's time as well.

A lack of purpose will have the pastor wondering why you are in the position you hold, the students asking why they should show up, and the parents why youth ministry is valuable. Who are you? Where are you going? Why are you going there?


Follow Garland on Twitter: @gowensby

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