Doing the work that we do — mentoring students within a wide-variety of contexts — comes with a whole slew of challenges.
Some of the challenges are related to our context and the things we have to manage or navigate in order to relate well with students.
Some of the challenges are tied to our students and their own set of priorities and sense of self and God.
Some of the challenges we own as they bubble up within us and cause us to struggle with expectations, the speed of the process, or the kind of fruit we believe we should be seeing.
Of course, there are more challenges that could be named.
But there may be no bigger challenge than the one I was reminded of a couple of days ago.
It was a recent graduate, and young new minister, who posted this quote from A. W. Tozer on Facebook,
In an effort to get the work of the Lord done, we often lose contact with the Lord of the work…
Read that again.
Read it one more time.
Can you relate? Have you been there? Do you know what he’s talking about???
I know I do.
And I’ve got to believe that if you’ve spent much time in ministry at all then you’ve likely experienced this (at least to some degree) at some point along the way.
It’s a dangerous reality that we must be aware of, and attentive to, each and every day.
It’s dangerous precisely because it happens under the cover of doing good work — initially with, but eventually for — the Lord.
It’s rarely a conscious decision — to quit spending time with God for the sake of doing more work for him. But that’s exactly how it happens.
We can become so focused on the mission that God has called us to that we eventually squeeze the giver (and sustainer and producer) of the mission right out of the picture.
It seems so obvious when we look at it this way. And yet, it’s so much more illusive and mysterious when it plays out in our own life and leadership.
It’s why Satan is known as the great Deceiver.
Yet we must not live in fear.
We cannot allow the possibility of falling prey to this to sidetrack or sideline us from the work we have been called to give our lives to.
So we must be diligent, and even vigilant, in our efforts to keep God first — always!
But that’s easier said then done.
So how do you do this?
How do you manage this challenge that has the potential to derail our ministry?
How do you keep contact with God in the midst of your daily work with students?