I honestly can’t recall the number of times I’ve had this thought over the ten plus years I’ve been involved in youth ministry: I’m just not good enough to do youth ministry. And I’ve had no trouble giving reasons either: others are far more qualified, they have more knowledge, more patience, and they sure are more spiritual than I’ll ever be.
It’s a thought that keeps coming back and lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot. You see, when it pops up, I truly feel this way. It’s a not a show of false humility or a clever way to get people to confirm and praise me. I really feel sometimes like I’m not good enough to do youth ministry and I can’t think why God would want to use me for this.
Yet He does.
God has used me in youth ministry and He still does, much to my amazement. Despite all my shortcomings, sins and lack of qualification in my own eyes, God has still worked through me to bless others.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that these thoughts really are a clever attack of Satan to try and get me to disqualify myself, to quit. And his tactics are clever indeed, because as usual there’s a big grain of truth amidst the lies.
The truth is that I am indeed not good enough to do youth ministry. The lie is that that disqualifies me from doing youth ministry.
The truth is that others do have more knowledge. The lie is that that disqualifies me from doing youth ministry.
The truth is that I do lack patience. The lie is that that disqualifies me from doing youth ministry.
The truth is that I do often struggle in my relationship with God, that I’m not as spiritual as I want to be. The lie is that that disqualifies me from doing youth ministry.
Every time I’m subtly attacked this way, I have to remind myself of these truths to keep myself from walking away in defeat:
- Nobody is ever good enough by himself to do anything for God and we don’t need to be. Jesus was good enough, is good enough for us and through Him we are all that we’ll ever need to be. When we are weak, God’s strength can work through us.
- It’s not about knowledge (though it’s good and Biblical to keep growing in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word), it’s about obedience. God can use me as long as I obey Him.
- I’m a sinner, but by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus, I am forgiven. As long as I confess my sins to God and others and come to God daily to be cleansed, my sins in themselves don’t disqualify me from doing ministry.
- My relationship with God will, like any other relationship, always have ups and downs (though mostly caused by me and not by the ever loving God). But even when I don’t feel Him near, He is there and He will never fail me.
When Satan tries to convince you that you are not good enough to do youth ministry, tell him he’s right, but that God has chosen you nonetheless. You are God’s chosen one, He has called you to reach out and love young people and don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of that. Stand firm in your calling and trust that the almighty, all-knowing God knows what He’s doing, even when you don’t.