If you can forgive my self indulgence then read on…
I have been looking back over my ministry as a Divisional Youth Officer. This is a job title that does not give credence to the role my colleagues and I play. We are stealth-like church leaders who front as youth workers. I mean in all good intension we are youth workers, but youth work can not stop at empowering young people in society and enabling their development towards potential. It has to be much more.
I find that after more than ten years of youth work, we are called to lead the young people God has placed before us. How this works out in practice I have no idea, it certainly doesn’t feature in my job description. The cry of a frustrated youth worker is that I can not work out this leadership in a fuller capacity.
God spoke and at the end of 2012 he said clearly to me these words which I immediately wrote down.
‘There is more to do, battles to be won, sacrifices to be made. There has been a taste of my goodness and now I want to unleash a blessing upon you like never seen before. I want to raise a generation of spirit filled disciples. I want to call a generation of leaders to stand and lead the church of my son, Jesus Christ. Call your generation to lead, invest yourselves, lead by doing, be an example in the faith. I will pour out my spirit, I will sustain you. I will empower you. I will give you all you need for the tasks ahead.’
And he has done that, year on year in this ministry I have seen people grow and move closer to him, and I have been amazed at how far he has brought us in such little time.
God has been so good and I can’t help but want to worship him for his generosity and love.
However, I am grumpy.
I am grumpy because I want more.
I don’t want to be a frustrated youth worker anymore.
I want to see my generation, week in and week out, encounter the God who lavishes love upon them and desires them to love others. I want to see, week in and week out, people come to faith. I want to see, week in and week out, people be healed. Made whole. Broken hearts bound up. Lost people finding a place to call home.
I want the church to be the church, and I want to be more of its story. I don’t want to be the guy who watches DVDs of God’s action in the world and say ‘isn’t that great’ but totally miss out on that myself. I don’t want to be a Christian-by-proxy and live it out through others. I want to live out the faith. I don’t want to be a consumer in a pew who has to watch as the Sunday meeting takes place and runs its agenda.
I’m bored of agendas! I want to get out of the way and let God set the agenda. I want to be surprised, again and again, by how incredible he is. That’s hard to do when I pack him into my nice little life box.
I’m done with that. I want to worship and pray and disciple.
I want to see the kingdom.
I desperately want more.
I am so desperate that I sometimes feel the stress and tension. I physically feel the desperation for more.
I know some folks from my practice of faith could rock up on this site and look at this and suggest that I am ignorant of what God is doing in the church or arrogant that I think that I have got it right and others a wrong. But you know what, I’m bored with having to tip toe on egg shells so that others don’t feel so bad about their experience. Bottom line, God is a God of more. Ephesians 3:20 ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.’
His power at work in us.
If we see little of God, its probably because we’ve let little in.
But I am so done with that, I want more.
I’ve been reading Joshua and in Chapter 4 I read about the passing through the River Jordan and how they set up a monument of 12 stones to remind the people of what God had done.
I used to tell myself that my experiences of God were because I needed a good convincing start and that now I would see less of him because I had those monumental moments which I could look back on to remind me of what he had done. What a load of crap!
I am more convinced than ever that I was believing a lie to limit God’s action in my life.
I am more convinced through my experiences over the past year in ministry that God desires more than anything to lavish his love and favor on his people more and more and more. For no other reason than he loves to give good gifts to his children.
I was hoping that my rant would help free me from my frustrations but alas I have just exasperated them.
So here is my prayer tonight:
God you are so incredible,
Your love is unfathomable,
You are so good.
But I want more.
I want more, I can’t help it.
You’re my Dad and I’m your son,
And I need you, I need more of you in my life.
I want to be about what you’re about.
What Jesus is about.
I want to be about the gospel.
I want to be about people coming to faith.
I want to be about freedom and people being set free.
I want to be about healing and people being made whole.
I want your Spirit to be with me, always.
I don’t want to ever be away from your presence.
You’re my hero and I think you are awesome.
All I have is yours, take it, and make something beautiful, please.