I spent last week at a conference with 2,000 plus teens, of which 31 were our own. Needless to say, I am still recovering physically. Every year we take our teens to a youth conference called Momentum that is held at various college campuses. This year it was held at Indiana Wesleyan University.
This was my 11th year at the conference. I have gone as a student, a college representative, a youth volunteer, and now I get to go as a youth pastor. Every year I have gone to this conference I am simply in awe of the way God works. This year, 225 teens were brought from death to life, one of our own included. Hundreds of other teens committed their lives to full-time vocational ministry, two of our own included.
Now this conference is wild. From the main sessions in the morning and evening to the activities throughout the day, this is a long, tiring week. It would make most sane people ask, “Why in the world would you give your life to this? Why would you give your time, energy, strength, and heart to this?” My answer is simply because God is awesome! He is amazing! That he would allow me to be involved in such an incredible event blows my mind.
I get to give my life to see other lives changed. I get to be poured out to help teens know Jesus Christ. Sure it’s messy. No, it’s not always easy. Sure there are days that I question why I do it. But then I remember the work I do for Christ will not return void. So I keep going. I keep pressing into Christ and trusting Him to work in mighty ways, and He does.
When it seems as though the people God has given me to shepherd just don’t get it, I remember that their “getting it” is not the point. The point is I get to be a part building the Kingdom of God. I get to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. I get to go to conferences like Momentum and see God work in the hearts and minds of young people. When I have this in view I rejoice, and I am content with any sort of hardship or success.
I end with the words of Paul to the church in Philippi:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” ~Philippians 2:14-18
This is why I do what I do!