They have a successful youth ministry and they love to talk about it. Who wouldn’t when God is doing amazing things. So we read their stories and testimonies and something in us stirs.
We wonder what is wrong with us, with our methods, with our prayer life or even our whole relationship with God because He obviously isn’t blessing us like He is blessing them.
We honestly examine ourselves for hidden sins, leadership weak spots, areas where we need to grow in order to become more like them.
We buy their curriculum, go to their conferences, adopt their policies and programs.
We look for reasons, people or circumstances to blame because we can’t seem to copy their success.
It’s easy to become jealous, worried, frustrated or even desperate when we read success stories of other youth workers and youth ministries. But we forget one thing: God is sovereign. It’s not a matter of a mathematical equation, that if we just do that, that and that and pray an hour a day, we will get the same results as someone else. It’s God’s sovereign choice to bless us in whatever way and measure He deems fit.
If we doubt His wisdom, we’re sailing dangerously close to the wind of hubris. We can’t ever assume we know better than our Almighty, all powerful God!
So stop comparing yourself to others. Instead, do two things:
Jealousy and pride are very closely related. Guard your heart by being truly grateful for God’s blessings in your life and your ministry, insignificant as they may seem sometimes. Remember that old song ‘Count your blessings one by one’? That’s the old-fashioned truth right there! Daily remembering God’s provisions and blessings on your life and ministry will help you stay grateful and humble. God will test us in the small stuff before we’re ready for the big things!
No matter how small your task or ministry in your own eyes, serve faithfully. God may bless you yet in ways you cannot imagine. He may call you for a task you’d never thought possible. He may choose to be present in your youth ministry like no one has ever seen before. But He also may not.
No matter what happens, serve God faithfully until the day He calls you home. It’s not about you or your plans, it’s about serving where God has placed you. If you are obedient every day, you will get your reward, on earth and/or in heaven.
Do you sometimes struggle with jealousy or feelings of despair when you look at others who ‘do better’?