Do you pray?
Are you engaged in the practice of other spiritual disciplines?
Are they central to your ministry and efforts? Or are they something you turn to when no other option remains?
These questions are not meant to be condemning or an attempt to sound like a spiritual elitist. I know I’m guilty of not praying, fasting, etc., as much as I could (or should). I think it has something to do with the kind of schedules we keep — often quite busy, yet consistently inconsistent.
College ministers, like most other kinds of ministers, can easily fall into the trap of living lives filled with the “doing of ministry,” while neglecting to be an intentional Christ-follower.
Again, strong words — I know, but what I mean is that we can get so wrapped up in doing all of the things that we are called to do as pastors and servants of college students — really good stuff like:
- leading worship services
- leading Bible studies
- counseling students
- sharing Christ
- facilitating service and mission opportunities
- investing in student leaders
- investing in professional staff
- watching the budget
- caring for facilities
- preparation — for ALL of the above
- and the list could go on and on and on…
that we then allow ourselves to schedule over the time that we should be focused on tending to our own relationship with Jesus (the ‘being’ a Christ-follower).
Without the intentional time we spend investing in our own personal relationship with Jesus, the list above can move from a list of opportunities to express our love to God and others — out of the abundance of what God is doing in our own lives — to a list of ministry tasks that feel a lot more like a job at a company — and Jesus is just the CEO.
The ongoing self-leadership, and soul-care, of those of us who lead college students is SO important. I believe we have nothing to really offer students if it doesn’t come from Jesus. If this is true, than we had better be intentional to carve out space in our lives to pursue Him in earnest — with consistency and sincerity.
We cannot expect students to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ if we — as their leaders — are not ourselves.
I am challenged this morning to be all the more intentional in my pursuit of Jesus. To make sure that He — and not me — is central to the ministry I’m a part of on campus. Students can see through fake.
What do you think?
Do you struggle with a schedule so full of “doing ministry” that it leaves little time for you to simply “be” with Jesus in any intentional way?
Is your ongoing spiritual formation a priority for you?
Is a lack of attention to your personal relationship with Jesus stunting your ministry with students?
I’d love to hear what you think!