One of the privileges I have in working with Reign Ministries is to serve as a mentor/coach to a couple of our degree students. These are students who are with us for at least three years. Alongside of their degree work, they are placed in area churches or ministries as youth workers. Their days are extremely busy as they pour their time and energies into young people in their contexts as well as maintain their school work: reading and writing papers, and preparing presentations. We meet weekly as a place for them to find nurturing on a personal and spiritual level, process their ministry experiences, and grow toolbox of ministry skills.
Most weeks when Matt and Shannon arrive, I most want to offer them a bed to have a sleep for a few hours. I know that they work so hard and are often feeling tired emotionally and spiritually. I’m sure they wouldn’t take me up on my offer for a bed because these two have so much to share. Their constant stories of ministry challenges me on a deep level and makes me so proud to be a part of their lives. These guys are on the front lines as they disciple young believers in what it means to live for Jesus amongst their peers.
I am constantly reminded of God’s amazing plans to use human beings and our relationships to show the world what the He is like. As I serve as a mentor to these students, I have to prepare myself each week to spend time with them – I pray for them and about them and then seek to lead them in the ways that the Spirit shows me. This is no different than the ministry preparations that they do each week.
All ministry requires a dependence on God’s spirit to be working in us and in the lives of those we are serving. Recently, we’ve been reflecting on how important our own connection with the Father is, so that our ministry is coming from that place. John 15 promises us that our love, ministry and prayers will be fruitful, and that we can find true joy if we only learn to stay connected to Him. There are a lot of skills and tips that I hope my students can learn from our time together, but I most want them to remember that fruitful ministry is the result of the minister being truly connected with the Father. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” John 15:5, The Message
Categories: Youth Ministry Degree Course