A couple years ago I began praying this prayer: “Lord, will you free me up to do the things you’ve most gifted me to do and the things for which I have the most passion?”
In fact, I remember it was November of 2007 I began to pray that prayer. Though my job has changed (was a Vocational Youth Pastor then), this prayer continues to be my prayer. Some may find it strange that I continue to pray that prayer even though I am leading an organization and more specifically, one that I started.
No, I am not looking to leave Youthmark. I simply want to continue to pray that prayer. I believe that God has gifted me in specific ways and given me passion in specific areas, I simply want to obey Him and be used for Him. I hope you have a similar response (and prayer).
What Would That Look Like?
If God ultimately answered that prayer, I would be freed up to write and speak.
I’d like to continue to shepherd Youth Pastors, Leaders, Parents and Teens. I believe the most important things I could write and speak about would be along the lines of:
- disciplEship: I’d like to see the “E” put back in this word. I believe that many churches (and Christians) have prioritized Bible study, fellowship groups, potlucks, worship and sometimes service projects. We’ve taught the younger generation to prioritize Youth Group, accountability partnerships, lock-ins and fundraising. These are all things that can and sometimes should be prioritized, but what about our neighbor? What about our co-worker? What about our unsaved friends? Lord, will you free me up to write and speak, but most importantly, free me up to live and speak out your love and grace to those who do not know you.
- relational evangelism: I’d love to help students, parents, pastors, leaders… well, Christians, understand that practical, relational evangelism IS our most practical way to worship Jesus day in and day out. To me, this is our spiritual act of worship. First, I love mission trips, but let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to share your faith on a mission trip than it is in our own Jerusalem. The fear-factor of being rejected “over there” (“there” being defined as anywhere outside our own home-area) is minimized. Being rejected for sharing Christ “there” doesn’t hurt as much as a loved-one, best friend or even a stranger rejecting you in your own town. It should hurt everywhere! In fact, Paul describes his “fear and trembling” he had in 1 Corinthians 2. On his mission trip to Corinth, he admits to the fear of rejection, only his fear was “fear for rejection.” He feared that those he related with and shared the great news to, would ultimately reject that grace. He feared for their (eternal) lives (not his). I want to help others understand that relational evangelism (by serving, loving and sharing) is good anywhere! I want to write and speak and live in such a way that helps others to see their neighbor, co-worker, relative and the uttermost as people who need to hear about Christ! This effort needs to be renewed, it’s not just about memorization, wrote answers and laws. It’s about practical training that every Christian understand his/her responsibility and calling. Lord, please free me up to write and speak more effectively so that we learn to relationally and lovingly share the Gospel with all!
- practice makes (others) perfect. I want to help people understand Scripture in such a way that they/we practice what we read. Ultimately as we get to know the Word of God and trust in the Spirit of God we can apply the things we are learning in Scripture. As we “practice” these things we will play a role in the lives of others. Our motivation/call to “love God and love others” plays out in meeting the needs within the four walls and extends to the four corners! Practicing Scripture means loving the lost. Not just loving them by telling them they need the Gospel, but loving them by showing them how the Gospel is lived out. To me this means meeting practical needs of others (here and abroad). I believe in social justice causes. This comes from knowing Scripture and practicing what we read. Meeting physical needs opens up opportunities to share the spiritual answer. In the end, when God calls His children to Himself, they will be made perfect by the blood of the Lamb! Our practice, could lead to Him making them perfect! Lord, would you free me up to write and speak to others about Your Word. Your Word and Your Spirit will transform your people and ultimately reach more people with the Gospel!
You being “freed up” may look a little different than what it looks like for me. My hope is that you’ll see the priority and emphasis as the result of my prayer is simply to glorify Him with the things He has gifted us to do! May you be freed up to do that which is most important to Him!