A Minister’s Challenge

This morning, Micah’s school had a ceremony to kick of Texas Week. So all of the teachers and students gathered around the flagpole and watched the raising of the flag of the USA and the Texas flag. We said the pledges to each flag, then we sang the Star Spangled Banner and Texas Our Texas.

I noticed during the ceremony that the lady who led the pledges and hosted the event pawned the leading of the singing on some others – not really intentionally (it appeared to surprise them as well).  I asked another teacher why she didn’t love Texas enough to sing (I can be disruptive sometimes).

Her response was that she probably didn’t know the words and didn’t want to mess up in front of a bunch of elementary students. And, that got me to thinking…

In ministry, how guilty are we (at times) of the exact same thing? We teach, preach, and counsel one thing, yet so often are found trying to lead a student to a spiritual maturity beyond our own.

Here’s one thing I know of ministry. We will never lead a student to a spiritual maturity beyond our own. We set the pace. If our students’ prayer lives suck, chances are that ours do as well. If our students’ lives are filled with chaos and a lack of peace, we’d better check our own. Our spiritual fervor and hunger will limit and stagnate the spriritual growth of our students if we aren’t disciplined enough to maintain our relationship with Christ.

This thinking prompted my use of a Bible reading schedule this year. This thinking prompted my own personal need for accountability. So, as we minister to kids and discover what exactly is missing and weakest in their lives, we need to first make sure that we are living out what we are teaching by preaching incarnationally.

“Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and fail to notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye’, when there is a plank in your own? You fraud! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you can see clearly enough to remove your brother’s speck of dust.
Matthew 7:3-5 (Phillips NT)

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