A little over five months ago, before starting my spring semester, I accepted a summer internship at a local church working with youth. The job description was simple: form relationships with students and tell them about Jesus. And they were paying me–my first real ‘job’ in ministry, how cool is that? The spring semester flew by as a quick as ever and before I knew it, summer was here. My job, that if I am being honest, I blew off planning for until the very last minute, had snuck up on me and I was very unprepared. After I threw together a last ditch effort pizza party, where I ordered 9 large pizzas and only 3 kids (and one awesome mom) showed up, I realized two things:
Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing.
I’m in way over my head.
When I met with the pastor and interviewed for the job, I remember thinking, ‘how hard can it be?’ I love students and I had recently taken a youth ministry class at school, so I thought that I had everything down. I couldn’t be more wrong. Not only were there only a few students that showed up to Wednesday nights, but I felt like I couldn’t connect with the kids. Doubt and insecurities began to creep in. I began to feel like something was wrong with me. Even though I had prayed about it and knew that this church was where God wanted me to serve, I began to think that maybe I had jumped too quickly when I accepted this job. Maybe I didn’t hear God right.
A few Mondays ago, the pastor entered my office (another cool thing about my job–I have an office), excited about an upcoming mission trip opportunity for the students. If I’m being honest, I didn’t think it was a good idea at first. The trip was going to be a lot of driving for only a few hours of ‘mission work’. I was nervous about how it was going to go over with the youth. Reluctantly, I talked to the kids about it and got them signed up. Surprisingly, the students were really excited about the trip. I, on the other hand, was still a nervous wreck. The pastor asked me to do a devotional each night. Don’t get me wrong. I love devotionals, and I love planning them, but I was afraid of how the kids would react to what I planned. I thought for sure the whole experience was going to be a mess because I was a mess.
And then God showed up. And when I say he showed up, I mean he showed up. He did some things I never expected. For a very short trip, he taught the students so much about prayer and what it means to have a relationship with him. My devotionals went smoothly, and I was so focused on the good time I was having with the kids, I forgot about the doubt I had about the trip. After the trip was over and we were heading home, the pastor and I asked the youth what they liked most about the trip. I was expecting answers like, “We really liked the waterpark we went to!” or “We really enjoyed the food.” Instead, we got answers like, “We loved prayer walking,” and “We thought the devotionals each night were awesome.” When I got home, I received text messages and encouragement from some of the parents about how effective the trip was for their kids. I was almost in tears, and I realized something else.
Maybe I’m not good at ministry. But God is.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:9-11
His grace and his power is enough for me. It’s enough to reach these students and make an impact on the world. I don’t have to have everything figured out. I don’t have to be the best minister in the world. God knows what he is doing. And he is enough.
God’s strength. His power. That is what it is all about. That is what the gospel is about. That is why I do ministry. Not because of anything that I can do, but what he does. Am I in over my head? Absolutely. Do I have any idea what I am doing? Nope. If this job has taught me anything this summer, it has reminded me of how weak I am and how dependent I am on God’s power. I am probably the weakest person in ministry you have ever met. But my God is strong. He is powerful. He takes my weakness and uses it for his glory. And he can do some amazing things.
Thank you so much for reading!! I pray that you will allow God to use your weaknesses for him and his mission!! God bless –Krystal:)