Tonight I found this note that I had written to myself a while back – it was written as a “pep talk” for those times when I would get discouraged doing ministry/school.  I decided that I would post it here in the hopes that it would help someone else as much as it just helped me.

Forgive the grammar and spelling errors; I probably originally wrote this at 3am with no rewrites.

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Hey Future Me.  This message is being written so that you will have something to wake you up whenever apathy strikes.  When you get to the point of “why am I spending so much time at church and school”, this is what you should read.

His Glory.  That is why I do it – it’s not about the money, fame, or accomplishment.  I work with youth because He is worth it.  The LORD, Yahweh, has shown me love and I pay it forward by working with students.  Are you listening future self?  It’s not about you; it is about your Creator God.  Christ commanded his followers to go into all the world to teach others about Him…well, this is your little corner of the world.  This is your sector.  This is your battleground. This is where you make a stand for Truth.  And you do it because of your love for God.

If I wanted to make money, I would have gone into welding.  If I wanted fame, I would have written that bestseller.  If I wanted praise I would base my happiness on the number of students who converted to Christianity or how many people came to the retreat or how many volunteers I had wanting to work with me.  But I don’t want those things. I don’t want to base my happiness on my own actions because in the end I will always not be enough on my own. I need God in order to do any amount of work for Him.

Future self, you’re going to have to read this note a lot.  A lot, a lot.  You’re going to get to the point many times when you wonder if it is worth it at all: the late nights, the stressful events, the seemingly endless prep work…I get it, Youth Ministry is hard.  “But, past self!  It’s so pointless!  You don’t understand how bad this event/night/service/message is going to turn out.”  Yes, I get it – but the Lord your God is in control; if you do what he wants, you will have succeeded.  He has called you time and again to work in youth ministry in the face of some pretty bad odds.  Your time at Multnomah has been anything but normal but He has always provided.  Trust in Him in this situation.  He is good and His love endures forever. Put your faith and hope in him and stop trying to do it all yourself.