Many people allow their ministry to be limited by the standards set for them and they may not even know it’s happening. We all have students with huge potential who continue to hang out with the wrong crowd and are held back. The same thing happens when it comes to how we do ministry.
We allow our surroundings to set the standard for how we do ministry. Maybe the church you are in has very limited resources, is comfortable with mediocrity, and if you are honest, really doesn’t do ministry well at all. Maybe it is the town you live in. You have a passion to do more, but the status quo for ministry in your town says lazy efforts are enough and you inadvertently slip into running your ministry with the same subpar standards. Maybe it’s the network of other youth workers you meet with. They all do ministry at the same level and without even noticing, you’ve adopted their low standards as your own benchmark for success.
Many times we forget who sets the standard and we compare our efforts in ministry to the standards of those around us. We are limited by following the wrong standard.
There is only one standard that matters and it pushes us to excel.
The only standard that matters is God’s standard. When we refocus on the fact that He is the one we are doing ministry for, it should change the way we do ministry. His standard pushes us toward excellence. Jesus’ focus was always about reaching lost people and ours should be as well. God’s standard is one that is loving and welcoming to all, not just focused on the few that we deem “worthy.” When too often we get stuck forgetting about what He wants and doing ministry according to another standard.
Don’t get caught looking at the size of your church and excusing yourself for not reaching students, or looking at the quality of ministry in your town or network and being satisfied with the quality of your ministry. No matter where you live or what the culture of your city is, there are students who need Jesus and it is your job to reach them. If your ministry is not reaching out and pushing for more, somewhere along the line you settled for the low standard around you. Please don’t get me wrong, it is not about the numbers and I am not saying small youth groups can’t be healthy, but growth is the key. If you are not pushing for more and living according to the standard that truly matters, God’s standard, something isn’t right.
We must work hard to live up to His standard
Are you doing what God called you into ministry to do? Many times the standard around us dictates how hard we are willing to work and push. Ministry is hard work, but too often those in ministry take advantage of their church’s culture and do not put in the hard work they should. It is important and valuable to connect with others in ministry, but we must not allow other people’s “coasting” attitude to become an excuse for not doing what we’ve been called to do.
Love people, respect people, but don’t become other people. Be who God has called you to be. God has gifted you uniquely for a purpose, and even if your gifting doesn’t fit the stereotype around you it can be used in mighty ways. Check out “Breaking the Youth Ministry Box” to learn more about how you don’t have to fit into a box, but rather can use what you are good at to reach students.
Everywhere we look there are standards set for us; don’t allow those standards to overshadow God’s standard for your ministry. Stand out, and excel for Christ!
This article originally appeared here.