Pastors: Don’t Forsake Personal Growth

In my short time doing ministry I have found that my own personal growth and time with Jesus gets attacked quite easily. Whether it be because our busyness of schedule or just lack of discipline or whatever the case may be, it happens. I am not naive enough to believe this is specific to youth pastors or ministers in general, but God’s call on those who do teach is great and comes with great responsibility.

Scripture says a lot of those who teach God’s word. We, as ministers and pastors, should not forget the calling that we have been given. We must recognize our need for growth in our own lives before we worry or think about the growth of our churches and youth ministries. James 3:1 is the verse I get the most charge from in regards to the calling of a pastor.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach with be judged with greater strictness.” (ESV)

We have the wonderful calling to preach God’s word and see those far from God come to a saving grace in Him, but we can not sacrifice our own spiritual maturity. This can be hard for pastors because we are constantly reading and studying for a sermon, bible study or both.  We can easily justify that for time with God. My challenge to leaders and pastor would be to have more concern about your personal time with God. When we get that right, the overflow of our hearts will allow for the most passionately bold preaching of God’s word and the ability to love our students, families, and churches better!

Paul’s words to the Corinthians Church in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 is a powerful reminder of Jesus being all we need to preach and teach in His name. He tells them that being the most exciting or eloquent speaker isn’t that important, but that Jesus is enough. Despite his weakness and lack of wisdom, God granted those things to Paul because of his call. Paul’s message can be a helpful reminder to pastors and church leaders today.

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know  nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”  (ESV)

May we all preach with the boldness of knowing God called us, the Holy Spirit speaks through us, and Jesus convicts, redeems, and brings life change to a hurting world.

11 Comments

  1. The very first thing I heard and learned at seminary is that the Scripture I read for class should not be a substitute for my own personal time with God. I think that many youth workers do the same. We read for doing ministry, but use that as our own personal growth time too... it should not work like that! Curious, how have you promoted a personal growth while still doing ministry well?
    • Well for me, I have had to get disciplined to wake up early and do my personal reading then because if I don't, it becomes the end of the day and I haven't done it. Also, I have tried different venues for that "God time" so that I don't get into a rut of sitting at my apartment and making it bland and stagnant. This has allowed me to keep myself fresh.  
  2. The very first thing I heard and learned at seminary is that the Scripture I read for class should not be a substitute for my own personal time with God. I think that many youth workers do the same. We read for doing ministry, but use that as our own personal growth time too... it should not work like that! Curious, how have you promoted a personal growth while still doing ministry well?
    • Well for me, I have had to get disciplined to wake up early and do my personal reading then because if I don't, it becomes the end of the day and I haven't done it. Also, I have tried different venues for that "God time" so that I don't get into a rut of sitting at my apartment and making it bland and stagnant. This has allowed me to keep myself fresh.  
  3. [...] Pastors: Don’t Forsake Personal Growth(youthmin.org) Jeremy SmithJeremy Smith is a 27 year old youth worker at the Air Force Academy chapel, working for Club Beyond, and attending Denver Seminary for his Master''s of Counseling in Mental Health. His bachelors degree is in Computer Engineering and Master's in Family Ministry. He has been involved in Youth for Christ for eight years and absolutely loves sharing the life of Jesus with teens. He is also married to Ashley, his wonderful wife of 3 years.More Posts - Website /* */ /* */ /* */ Follow @youth_min on twitter [...]
  4. [...] Pastors: Don’t Forsake Personal Growth(youthmin.org) Jeremy SmithJeremy Smith is a 27 year old youth worker at the Air Force Academy chapel, working for Club Beyond, and attending Denver Seminary for his Master''s of Counseling in Mental Health. His bachelors degree is in Computer Engineering and Master's in Family Ministry. He has been involved in Youth for Christ for eight years and absolutely loves sharing the life of Jesus with teens. He is also married to Ashley, his wonderful wife of 3 years.More Posts - Website /* */ /* */ /* */ Follow @youth_min on twitter [...]
  5. Although it is very important to have a feel for the pulse of the congregation or youth group you will be preaching to it is also so vital to be constantly cultivating our own personal relationship with God. It is so obvious and so imperative; yet it can become so difficult to do. Very refreshing to know this is not a individual and isolated struggle.
  6. Although it is very important to have a feel for the pulse of the congregation or youth group you will be preaching to it is also so vital to be constantly cultivating our own personal relationship with God. It is so obvious and so imperative; yet it can become so difficult to do. Very refreshing to know this is not a individual and isolated struggle.

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