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Why You Shouldn't Try To Start a Movement

A few weeks ago I asked a youth worker out to lunch. We met, had lunch, and talked about our ministries together. In a very short time I noticed a pattern. God seemed to be leading us to teach on some of the very same topics and address some of the same issues in our respective ministries.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on my upcoming teaching series to help students to take their faith public and began to think about how I wanted to brand the series and roll it out to our students.

Enter the youth worker I had lunch with.

He also had been working on a teaching series to help students take their faith public and just a few days ago branded the series and presented it to his student ministry. Immediately the thing took off. Students overwhelmingly embraced it and it looks like a movement has started.

I was in awe of the response of his students and how God has started using his teaching. It was good. Very good, in fact. So good that I had to come up with something different. It was a tall order though… because I had to work harder to create something bigger and better than he did.

Enter the inward struggle.

I started to really wrestle with this. Why did I have to create something different? Something better? Why can’t I just join the movement instead of trying to start a new one?

So that is exactly what I did. I tried to overcome my jealously… my drive…my pride… and I picked up the phone and called this youth worker. I told him how great of an idea he had. I told him how awesome it was (and also how obvious it was) that God has started a movement. Then I asked to join him. I asked, “Why can’t we collaborate and do something really big here?” And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Here are 3 quick things I learned through this:
1. God may have you address some of the same topics with your students as the youth worker down the street. Action item: Have conversations with local youth workers to see if you recognize any themes or patterns.
2. I’m not immune to jealousy, pride, or a competitive spirit when it comes to ministry. My hunch is that you aren’t either. Action item: Ask God to search your heart and point out where you might struggle with these things.
3. God may already be at work around you and you need to recognize it. Action item: Don’t believe the lie that you need to try to start a movement. You might need to join one. You can quote me on that!

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Terrace Crawford is an entrepreneur, youth worker-at large, with an affinity for Social Media, and founder of MinistryDownloads.com. Crawford, named as one of the Top 100 Christian Leaders to Follow on Twitter, serves church leaders (particularly youth workers) through his blog, and weekly podcast, This Week in Youth Ministry (available on iTunes).