Is your cup empty? You spend so much time tending to the spiritual needs of students that it is easy to neglect your own development. Today’s podcast is for you. Brian talks with Chad Harwell about 3 areas we need to focus on when it comes to personal disciplines in our lives. Chad is a WOL Youth Ministry Coach in North Carolina and is passionate about ministering to and alongside youth pastors and leaders all over the state.
It is important to value your personal spiritual growth as a youth leader.
Youth pastor to youth pastor, there are several areas we need to focus on in order to make it in ministry and one of them is our own personal spiritual growth.
The point being: If I am always pouring from my own cup, it will at some point run dry, which would then make it difficult to encourage others in ministry.
3 ways to keep growing and keep from drying up:
- Daily Personal Spiritual Disciplines
- Being a Student of the Culture
- Inclusion of Accountability in our Lives.
Daily Personal Spiritual Disciplines – these grow us closer to Christ (Daily time in God’s Word and Scripture Memory)
Remember to focus on the fact that our relationship with the God of the universe is the source for our capability in ministry. Our response to trouble is often a direct correlation to our relationship with Christ.
Daily Time in God’s Word – Make engaging God a priority by inviting Him into your life daily through Bible reading and prayer.
Memorize Scripture – This is still an important discipline for you, not just your students. Scripture memory equips you when faced with both trials and new opportunities. Chad himself has seen God use his own scripture memory while interacting with a Jehovah’s witness, and while dealing with his own mental struggles.
Resources: Helpful Memorization Apps – Verses, Quizlet, Remember Me and Scripture Typer (Chad uses Scripture Typer himself.)
Personal spiritual discipline is the training for our spiritual lives. You will have to fight to keep these disciplines. Just as athletes would never quit training at the height of their career, we should never quit our spiritual training while in ministry.
Being a Student of Culture – You must be able to understand a bit of the world your students live in. Know what is pushed into the world of your students, whether they like it or not.
In the Overall culture – know what the newest thing is. Talk to your teenagers. Find out what they are up to.
Resources: Youth Culture Report and Axis Ministry (Chad highlighted Axis’ Culture Translator.)
Local culture – changes from county to county, so learn what is relevant specifically to your students. What do they like to do in the area? What goes on in their days?
The Point – Connect with your kids and be able talk to them in a way they understand, so you can be a part of changing their lives eternally.
Accountability – Keeps you on the right path.
3 relationships within ministry to have accountability in:
Accountability with God. – God is the source of all that has been given to you in your ministry and He will hold us accountable for what He has given.
Accountability with your Pastor – You are a part of his flock and under his authority, so ask him to be a part of your ministry through accountability. Tell him what is going on in your life/ministry and give him a chance to speak into your life. You may need to initiate this relationship. A good start may be a Bible study.
Accountability with someone outside your ministry – Find someone you do not already minister with who loves Jesus and would hold you accountable on what you ask them to. They will give you an outside perspective and would be able to see things those around you would never be able to see. This accountability relationship you most definitely will need to initiate.
Make sure these are people you can meet face-to-face with and one on one. Invest in them also to thank them for investing in you by holding you accountable
Accountability is an important Biblical principal to not put aside. It is essential to our spiritual growth and will benefit our ministries as well.
Wrap It Up:
“Do not let [Satan] defeat you because You have already won in Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.” – Chad Harwell
firstname.lastname@example.org – for locating your closest WOL local ministry coach or for any other questions.