Recently, I had a parent inform me I was a bad Youth Pastor. I immediately refused to acknowledge his synopsis of my ministry or me as a person for that matter. That was the first time I let anyone know that not only was I a good youth pastor, I was a great one.
Almost instantly, after proclaiming my defense, I began to assess the history of the decisions I had made. Had I declared my greatness too hastily? I began to wonder if I was the one that had totally destroyed him and his family’s lives. I looked for things I could have done, should have done, even wished I had done, and then it happened. Even though I couldn’t put my finger on the dynamite that triggered this explosion, I needed someone to blame. That was easy, I went with the family’s choice, “B: Chris Binion”. Is that your final answer? Yes, that’s my final answer. Well-you are- RIGHT! The music rushed through me. I had just won! Straight away, I began a downward spiral to the land of “Woe is Me.”
Two days into this Millennium 2000 Pity Celebration, I ran out of energy. I learned the Lord was trying to speak to me but I could not hear him for all of the howling I was doing. He gently nudged me then asked, “How many hours are in a week?” Hysterically I replied, “What’s that got to do with anything? Can’t you see what I have done? What about-”
“Just answer. How many hours are in a week?” Being the incredible mathematician I am, I rummaged for my calculator to soon discover there are 168 hours in a week.
Then he asked, “How many hours is this student in your care?” Hesitantly, I responded, “About three hours a week.”
The Lord brought back to my remembrance a conversation I once had with a young man. He had prayed for someone who was sick and he was feeling responsible that the individual he prayed for was not healed. I remember asking him if he had the power in himself to heal. He said, “No.” Then I asked, “Do you have the power to pray?” “Yes.” Stirring myself, I realized that young man was now me, only the situation had changed.
As ministers we often think we are able to do wonders, when in actuality, God, unless he gives you the power (Exodus 4:21), is the only one who can do wonders. Psalms 136:4 states, “To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.”(NIV)
I understand that Jesus ordained twelve and gave them the power to heal sickness, Mark 3: 14, 15. I also am not debating John 14:12-14, where Jesus declares in the last verse, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” What I am saying is, we put a lot of things on our shoulders that do not belong to us and instantly or over time they become extremely heavy. We struggle for answers that we wouldn’t understand unless God himself revealed his purpose and honestly, sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
What we should do, since we are so good at wanting to give others scriptural references or Godly advice, is remember that 1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (New King James) We need to do what David did and encourage ourselves in the Lord, 1 Samuel 30:6. In Texas that means, pick yourself up by your boot straps, quit whining like a whipped pup, pick your chin up, roll up your sleeves, and get back to work.
You might not have a lot of experience, you might have to say you’re sorry, you might even have to admit you’re wrong, but you must remember you are only with your students approximately three hours a week. Parents today seem to want the church to be a miracle worker. They let their teens do, say, wear, and watch what they want. Those teens develop life-damaging patterns and the parents want us to fix their students in a couple of hours. We can’t heal anyone; much less solve their problems. There is only one miracle worker, and unless he shows up in your youth service and students respond to him, then all you can do is fast, pray, disciple, and believe.