This weekend was a rejuvenating time for me. I got the chance to get away, spend time alone and spend time with God. It has been one of the best experiences I’ve had as well as one of the best encounters with God I’ve ever had.
This weekend, Jason Ostarander, the National Youth Director for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (long title anyone?) decided that it was imperative to pour into us youth pastors and youth leaders for a weekend. His whole concept was US. Not tools for a better ministry, but tools for a better US, which would in turn translate to a better ministry. He discussed with us 4 main topics: Ministering from the HEART, MIND, HANDS and as a TEAM. I will put Heart and Mind separate, then the last post will be Hands and Team. I will throw some Marvin in there, but I want to translate to yall alot of what Jason brought this weekend.
Ministering from the HEART:
Jason talked about how the heart is ever important both to God and for ministry. Our hearts need to be right with God, our hearts need to be in line with God and our hearts need to be ministering from the very heart of God. If our hearts aren’t right before God, everything we do will not be right. It may be good, but we’d be doing it in our own power, NOT the power of God. Jason really laid into us in the audience on how we need to get our hearts connected to God. He gave verse after verse of how important our hearts are and how our hearts steer us.
The biggest smack (for me came) when Jason quoted Matthew 12:34: “…Out of the overflow of the HEART the mouth speaks”. What am I filling my heart with? Because whatever the answer is, is what my mouth will be talking about. He asked us then to think about the last 3 conversations we’ve had that were significant (more than 5 minutes long)…why don’t you think about this right now too. He then said what did you talk about in those three conversations? That will help you to see what your hearts are full of right now.
This came as a smack to me, because I wasn’t talking about God, my wife or my future kid, nor my youth group (in those three significant conversations). I was talking about my fears, my worries about money and such. My heart, going into this past weekend was worn out, beat up and DONE…and I didn’t even know it. I was teaching lazily to my youth, leaving them wanting more. I was not really a husband so much as a lump and my joy was slipping away…
Youth Leaders/Pastors…our hearts are KEY. Are you feeding your heart with the WORD of God? I know for sure I wasn’t. I want to BATHE in the Word, soak in the Word and allow it to bring my heart in line with God’s heart. As I spent time this weekend, I always remember that mountain top stuff doesn’t last…but as with any retreat, it’s what we take with us, those important keys that we get that last for the long haul, even when we’re in those valleys.
May You and I allow the God of all Love permeate our hearts!