The earth will applaud, but will heaven?
At the risk of sounding like the other Oscar (the Grouch)…I can’t watch the Academy Awards. I get too frustrated. I hate long speeches naming people I don’t know. I don’t like the Oscar statue…he looks like the bald, alien offspring of Midas and an Oompa Loompa. I can’t stand the main stage political posturing of some actors as they pour out glib remarks rooted in anti-gospel sentiments. I don’t want to see any more behind-the-scenes footage of overgrown smurfs running around a forest. And watching people strut around in dresses that cost more than the Gross National Product of Haiti makes me want to vomit (Rev. 3:16).
Alright – it was good to get all that off my chest. I’ll get off the soapbox now.
It got me to thinking, though. What would the “Youth Ministry Oscars” look like? What would Jesus give us a trophy for? And what would that trophy look like? (Incidentally, would He even give us a statuette when we’ve clearly been instructed not to worship idols. I mean, do you remember the Golden Calf incident in Exodus 32?)
No, our reward is far greater than a mere trophy. Our reward is in heaven where the streets are gold (Rev. 21:21); in Heaven, Oscars are just pavement.
Actors receive awards for how they approach, prepare and execute within their field. They “put on” other personas. As people working in youth ministry – we must “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). Christ is our example. Christ is our guide to healthy, happy, effective ministry.
If you want to minister like Jesus take a page from His Gospel playbook! Rather than looking at Ten Best Picture Nominees, here’s a list of Ten Life Lessons from the Master:
- Jesus began his day with prayer – Mark 1:35
- Jesus respected earthly authority – Mark 12:17
- Jesus confronted frustration with truth – John 6:51-58
- Jesus resisted temptation – Matt 4:1-11
- Jesus never judged people by their appearance – Matt 7:1-5<
- Jesus doesn’t quit, He finished what He started – Matt 10:22
- Jesus didn’t try to do everything alone – Luke 9:1-6
- Jesus knew His Scriptures – Luke 11:28
- Jesus took time to rest – Mark 6:31
- Jesus didn’t judge His success on immediate change – Luke 8:15
Put simply…if you want to succeed in ministry just be like Jesus.
- Pray every morning
- Respect your Pastor, your diocese and your Bishop.
- Let truth – not anger – be your motivation for any confrontation.
- Fight temptations! Conquer vice with virtue.
- Don’t let a teen’s outside affect you loving their “inside.”
- Never quit.
- Ask for help and then utilize it.
- Know your Bible.
- Take your Sabbath!
- Be patient.
Now you might notice that “love” is not on the list. God is love (1 John 4:8)…so it’s implied. Do all of these with love and watch how God pours out His grace (John 1:16).
When it comes to your ministry remember: you’re trying to win souls not admiration.
It truly is an honor to be nominated…by the Lord. It was not you who chose Him.
God chose you. God appointed you. God has entrusted you with a great task.
As a good steward of God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10)…implement and remember these ten gospel truths and you will hoist the trophy (in heaven).
I now return you to your regularly scheduled (youth ministry) programming.