“I never thought it would be this hard.” I know I’ve said it myself, and I know I’ve heard many others say it before. You’ve probably even said it yourself, maybe recently. I know that personally, I did know it would be this hard. I saw my Father live the calling of God my entire life, go through challenge’s, face adversity, and stay true. My brother’s, as well, who both have lived the call to ministry God gave them for as long as I can remember. When I started out in Ministry, I knew that by accepting the Calling I had no choice but to accept, I was willingly signing up for scrutiny, sacrifice, pain, grief, suffering. I knew the nights were coming when I’d feel worthless, like I wasn’t accomplishing anything, wasn’t useful in the hand of God. I’m sure you did, too. But for whatever reason, it catches us off guard, right? That first time we get criticized for the vision we believe to be from God. That first time we get betrayed by a friend, or talked about by a student. The 117th time we go overdrawn because we picked up prizes for a Youth Group event that we forgot to put in our personal budget, and we won’t be reimbursed until pay day next week. The savings account that can never stay at the amount you want it to.
I knew what it would mean to follow God in this calling to ministry, but If I’m honest, there are still times that it can get to be too much.
Two Years ago, God gave me a vision for a website for Youth Pastors. I got pumped about it, started laying out thoughts and ideas and having some conversations about it with others. But then I went to buy the perfect domain name for it, and it was going to be $2000. So I shelved the idea. That was something I felt so surely that God was calling me to do, but it cost too much, and I gave up on it. 6 months later, that vision came back up and things fell back into place to launch that site. It’s got a different domain name, but I think this one is better anyways. I share that because I often come back to that experience I had, very clearly receiving a vision and calling to do something, but giving up because of the cost. But knowing that it was all affirmed when things worked out so perfectly just a few months later. After a year of ministry, you might be seriously considering the cost again as you take a few weeks to debrief before moving back into planning mode for next year. I gave up on a calling because it wasn’t worth the cost, it wasn’t worth fighting for. God reminded me that it was and is. And that was just about a website!
God has often had to remind me that cost of obeying his calling on my life as a Youth Pastor is worth it.
If you are called to Ministry, then the answer to the Title of this post will always be Yes. There will be seasons in our ministries where we have to fight for it. Here are just a few things we can do to prepare for those wars.
1| Be in True Community with other Pastors.
I’ve been praying all morning for the anonymous Youth Pastors, some I know of and some I don’t, who are spending this season in summer contemplating the cost. Stay true to your calling. And if you need prayer, advice, or others to talk to in the same boat, join our facebook community of Youth Pastors
. We’re all in this together, and you are not alone. I often hear people talk about how Social Media is destroying relationships, because it makes them impersonal. I have a few guys that I am best friends with that I have never met in real life thanks to social media. You may not get that in your experience, but you can still connect with others in some way. That’s better than nothing. Find True community with others in your shoes. It doesn’t have to be online, but find it.
2| Pray about the part’s of the Cost that give you the most anxiety.
As tough of a pill as it is to take, we are not perfect, we still have major flaws and shortcomings. I know the things that give me the most anxiety are things I haven’t surrendered to God. The great thing about being called to Ministry and surrendering to God is that he provides, he draws near, he abides. We’re not surrendering to someone we’ll never hear from. You know who God is, you serve him, I don’t need to tell you this. God is amazing!
3| Remember your calling.
I fall into the camp that there is a distinction between the priestly calling and the levitical calling. The men and women in our church are all called by God, and they do a great work. But the calling to vocational Ministry , I believe, is different. It doesn’t make us any better than those who work full time and volunteer in the church. Again, the cost of our calling is far different than the cost of their calling. Remember that God looked down and saw fit for you to be the one he chose to place in the position you are in. God didn’t just let a mistake happen that placed you in the church you are at in the town you are at. He called you there. And as we always say, he doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.]]>