As I went into the weekend, I first believed we would further the growth of an awesome group of 6th grade boys. I found very quickly (as in the first minute of the first worship set) that God had a completely different plan, for me.
The current theme around Walking Wisely Weekend, was of course based around Proverbs 13:20. As we began our first session of the weekend, I thought about how awesome it is that these 2100 middle schoolers not only get to receive an incredible message, but they’ll have at least 2 older people walking with them for the next 3 years to help them along the way. This is a big difference from what I experienced at their age, and all I could think about is that I have been entrusted to walk with some of these middle schoolers, boys specifically, to “do life” with them during this most critical season of their lives.
Wow, what a privilege, who am I to get this honor? I find it absolutely incredible, and humbled that I am going to be able to play such a significant role.
On Saturday night the boys got a chance to open up, and share what paralyzes them, where they feel they are weak. Now I really want to go into detail about what was all discussed during such an awesome Saturday night discussion with the boys, but I have given them my word as their leader that what we discuss during those moments will stay within our group. This is my promise, and I intend to keep it. I also promised them that I have an awesome community online, and some pretty incredible friends that I can count on for prayer, but will also keep them in their prayers as well. I assure you these are real children, with real problems, and I praise God that people who are of stronger faith will have a part in bearing their burdens with them.
So what paralyzes me?
Now I am not one to normally admit that I have a fear of stepping into a more predominant role within a ministry, but here I am admitting this to you right now. Why would I do this? Well, it’s easy. I feel it is comfortable for me. Notice the common denominator? The word’s I and Me.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11
This is what I’ve asked God to continue to work on. I believe He worked on me 3 years ago when I stepped into the volunteer role of a 4th grade small group leader and He’s continuing to work on me with this now, more so than ever.
It’s good to hear that God is moving so powerfully in the lives of those kids as well as yours Ben. I also appreciate that you walk the humble road and understand that it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Of course, the things that paralyze me are the things of God. I lead a group of adults in my church and the thoughts that go through my mind every Sunday morning are often overwhelming.
Keep doing what you are doing… investing in the life of the next Christian generation. I’ll be praying.
“the thoughts that go through my mind ever Sunday morning are often overwhelming.”
Sometimes I think God puts these overwhelming thoughts in our mind to just remind us how awesome He is, and how sometimes it’s OK to not be able to comprehend how He works, and to just let Him be Him, through you.
First off, The Stand is a great song… always gets me pumped, especially at the end when that refrain starts repeating! Glad you had a moving weekend and the hearts of your boys were challenged and impacted. That is really cool.
What paralyzes me? Usually it revolves around providing for my family. Need to continually surrender that over to God.
My wife and I help out with 10 graders (me-guys; her-girls) and I am always learning new things from them. I promise, it’s usually them teaching me more than me to them sometimes.
I think that’s something that paralyzes a lot of people from serving. They might think they need to be the ones who are teaching all the time. If they only knew how much you learn and grow along with them…
The thought that I might devote years of my life to the ministry I’m leading right now and not make any appreciable difference in the lives of my students paralyzes me.
Wow that’s definitely a paralyzing thought, but I know that you know sometimes the difference may go unnoticed, but it is definitely not something that should stop you from doing what you’re doing.
It sure helps to get the little glimpse of hope every now and again though.
The thought that sometimes paralyzes me is I am so freaking unworthy. Left at that I could dwell for days. But these days it seems as suddenly as I pause on that point, I am ever so gently reminded that God has a long running history of using unworthy candidates to fulfill mighty roles. Moses always comes quickly to mind.
Without him, I am so unworthy its sad. But fortunately, it makes for a good place for complete surrender.
As a side note, I have just applied to volunteer in Transit. Its time to go deeper.
OH DUDE!!! Holy cow man I have goose bumps all over, volunteering in Transit is all kinds of awesome!!!
Feeling unworthy is one of the biggest reasons why I kept repeating “Hold it together, Ben” over this weekend. I’m definitely right there with you.
What paralyzes me in ministry is the fear that what I am teaching is not sinking in or making any impact. I face this every week with my group of elementary school kids at church. I fear that my fifteen minute lesson isn’t accomplishing anything and isn’t helping them to grow in Christ. But I know that God’s word will not return void so I press on.
Press on brother.
One question, are you limited in how much time you can actually spend with those kids? 15 minutes does seem kind of slim :-/
I struggled teaching cbhildrens Sunday School as well. I mentioned it to a sweet older lady that had taught me Sunday School man yrs before. Her response was encouraging, “Its like planting a garden. Sometimes you are just planting seed, sometimes you are pulling weeds, once in a while you get to see the fruit. But someone still has to be faithful planting seeds.”
Oh man I love that, thanks Allen.
Enjoyed your tweets over the weekend…so glad you and Kim were able to have this moment together as well. Proud of you both, and encouraged by the work you are doing for ALL of your kids *wink wink*
Thanks sis, your support and prayers are felt, and we know God’s doing an amazing work through us to all 2,100,304,323 of our chill’rens.
Fear of risks and the great “what-ifs.” And big, non-dead snakes.
Risk that paralyzes you, causing you not to take a step out on faith is dangerous…
…especially if you’re stepping on one of those non-dead snakes!
So you are not the type of pastor that has snakes in the congregation? I’m disappointed! 🙂
I am a parent of an 8th girl who was at WWW this weekend. I am always so grateful for such great leaders. As a parent, we have the same fears, that what we teach at home misses the mark, doesn’t sink in, etc. What I’m learning, is that life lessons are given as our heart is ready to receive them. This goes for me as a parent, friend, wife, etc.
Thanks to you and to all the others who give so freely of your time and heart!
“Given as the heart is ready to receive them”
I find that so very true, especially now when it comes to lessons my father tried to teach me when I was younger.
Giving our time is something we absolutely love doing, and as a parent myself I feel I have a greater appreciation for parents such as yourself who let us walk with your children, so thank you!
1 Peter 4:11 was written for us, and specifically for you right where you are today.
Speak as an oracle. Take control of the situation. Give glory to our Father. Be Jesus for these kids, as much as you are able and empowered to be, and they will see your love as a fitting introduction to a bigger world and His Kingdom.
I love you in The LORD, Ben, and your post today was sheer blessing!
“Be Jesus for these kids”
I remember working in a youth center, and my father telling me that I may be the only “Jesus” these kids ever see, and that’s stuck with me ever since.
Rocked my boat.
I have the habit of biting off more than I can chew, confident that I can learn the skills necessary to make it a success. There have been times however, where the learning curve has been steep and I get into a situation where I don’t know what to do next. Really I know the answer is to asking for help, but that always seems to be the last place that I turn.
Turning to others for help can be an issue for me as well, because at times I think I’m superman. That thought usually lasts about .02 seconds.
I am my own worst enemy.
I have ignored people’s encouragements over the years, and I’ve been put off by the church’s lack of support of musicians both in original music and leading worship. But mostly I blame myself for being unable to hear God’s instructions because of my own false humility, thinking that if I rejected compliments I was more holy.
Only now have I started to realize how God can use me and that He WANTS to use me for His glory, and that means I have to learn how to accept what I am and give God credit for everything He allows me to accomplish.
Oh man, God speaks to us through other people for sure, and you’re absolutely right, He does want you for His glory!
I recall when I did Young Life for High School kids. I used to sit in the parking lot, hear the bell ring and sit, paralyzed to go in and meet kids and share the gospel. I honestly sat there thinking, what if it’s like high school all over again.
Great stuff Ben!
Oh the horror, High School, again? That would not be fun, thankfully it wasn’t like that, right?
I just read that verse today! Maybe God is saying something to me.
There are some things that give me the flash of fear but I’m definitely moving out of the “paralyzed” season of my life. You nailed it though, it’s not about me, it’s about Him. He’ll always accomplish what He sets out to do. It’s up to us to make ourselves available to be used.
I also think I’m slowly moving out of the paralyzed season, but I think it’s still going to be a process.
In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge talks about a fear that most men have. Of being found out. Of being discovered as a fraud and not a “real” man.
This is my fear.
I am a husband who loves his wife, a father who adores his children, and a man who longs to be rock for my family. To matter. To be remembered.
I fear being forgotten.
Wow, Ben. That opportunity for you is amazing. Will be praying for you and those young men.
Any time I think about the legacy, I always include “my children’s children.” I want to make enough of a positive impact that it reaches that far.
Thanks for the prayers KC, it means a lot.
Wow, Ben. Thanks for sharing this post. One thing that paralyzes me is am I doing a good job leading these people? My greatest desire is to please God and lead well.
Looks like we all experience very similar fears, but also same passions and desires.