Time, who’s got it and who’s got plenty to spare? We just finished a major stewardship campaign here at First Baptist and the two hardest elements to be faithful to God with are our time and finances. When all of this applies to student ministry, there is nothing more valuable than a leader investing time with a student.
We live in a very “get it now” culture where we seek out instant results with so many things. We want to pay at the pump, check out of the grocery store quicker, even if it means doing it ourselves, and we want faster internet so we don’t have to wait so long for Netflix to start playing. We hold a tight grip on our time, especially when it comes to giving it away. I have spent a silly amount of time trying to figure out how to make student ministry more effective while trimming the amount of time required of our faithful volunteers, and do you know what I keep running into? I am constantly confronted with the fact that ministry takes time. Faster and shorter don’t always return better results in the life of a youth worker. Students need consistency, they need commitment, they need to know that we are in it for the long haul. So many times I find myself trying to figure out how to get the most out of the least, rather than giving the best.
Our time has turned into God’s time.
God wants our best. God has given us the gift of eternal life, a gift we could never repay, nor should we try to. God tells us to do everything for His glory, and when I think of what that translates to with my time, I keep returning to the fact that he wants my best and he wants my everything. Our time has turned into God’s time, which for some may seem depressing, but let me encourage you by revealing the incredible honor it is to be considered by the almighty God to do His work. We are so undeserving of this role, yet still considered worthy.
There is going to be a time when you have an opportunity to pour your time into someones life. It may be a student, it may be a friend, it may be a stranger. Spend the time with people so that they may see the Love of God shine through you. When I think through all the hours of ministry I have spent reaching students, the ones that stand out the most aren’t the office hours, or the weekly youth group meetings, or the teaching opportunities, or the church business meetings. The hours that I hold most precious are the ones sitting in a coffee shop or on a hike talking with a student about life, listening to their stuff and just being an ear to hear.
Who’s looking at your life as an example of the Love of God?
Who are you pouring into? Who’s looking at your life as an example of the Love of God? Isn’t that a wonderful and daunting privilege? Spend time praying over your availability to others. Pray for God to give you the time to be an ear to hear to someone. Don’t overcomplicate it, God has blessed us with the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us, so carve out some time and pick up your phone and call that person that God has placed in your path.