|"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." |
~ R.W. Emerson.
An anonymous guest post by a college student who is currently wrestling with discouragement as a YL leader.
I’ve moved beyond the honeymoon phase of leading where everything is awesome. Don’t get me wrong—I love what I do, but I find that I am less-than-patiently waiting for the Lord to show me the fruits of some of the relationships I have been building at the high school. I can get discouraged when I don’t see my high school friends changing after a year of pouring into them.
And I can source my discouragement to some of my own doubt. Maybe you can relate. When we leaders focus on a perceived lack of fruit in our ministry rather than doing ministry, we often:
- Doubt that the Lord has called us to ministry, and consequently
- Doubt Christ’s desire to use us.
But listen to Jesus’ encouragement in John 14:12: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
This verse doesn’t even hint that God lacks a desire to use us, instead Jesus says that He WILL use us. If we believe in Him, we will do even greater things than He did. Is that not insane? Jesus who is truth, said that we will do greater things than Him and that He is waiting on us to petition to Him in prayer something that will glorify Him.
Trusting in the Lord to pull those close to us out of darkness is one thing that we can’t give up on. When I was in high school, even though I was involved with Young Life and had a good relationship with my leader, I didn’t change until my senior year.
Three years passed while my leader kept pursuing me, kept loving me, and kept believing that God was faithful. Now, as a leader myself, I can look back and see how well I was pursued. That pursuit is the reason I am leading today. Remember, disciples make disciples. Maybe, like me, you are wondering if leading is worth it. What if only one person comes to Christ after three years of pursuit? Listen to what Jesus has to say about it:
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7
Can you begin every day as a leader confident that if, at the end of your ministry tenure, only one kid came home that it was completely worth it? Is one lost kid brought to Christ worth a year, or two, or three years of waiting? That one lost kid (like me and maybe you, too) could go on to produce three followers of Christ. Those three could go on to produce twelve, and in Acts 2 Peter preaches to a crowd and it says that three thousand came to Christ in a day.
You never know the extent of the change you can make in the pursuit of one person. With heartfelt thanks to my leader who poured into me, I can say—it’s worth the wait.