Think about this youth pastor. His name is Brad, he’s 25 and thinks he could be the next Steven Furtick? Delusional, right? Maybe.
What if he listens to every Furtick message, dresses like Furtick, uses social like Furtick and baptizes a 1,000 people a day? Is he Furtick? Nope. Is he closer to being being Furtick than most? Sure. His persistence has paid off. His skills brought him nearer to his goals.
But what about a young lady named Beth who’s a youth pastor of 12 kids. The church is around 125 with an average age of 50 in a run down area of a big city. She has dreams. She doesn’t want to be the next anything. She just wants to reach teenagers with the gospel and grow the youth ministry and make disciples.
She been there for eight years and has seen zero growth. She’s had a few good events, lots of kids cycling through, but, overall the ministry hasn’t experienced sustained growth and neither has the church. She’s been persistent, worked hard, but the ministry has remained stagnant. Should she persist or is she delusional, believing that something could happen in a place where nothing is happening?
Now, I know what your thinking. “But God can do anything”. He sure can. Then why doesn’t He? Why don’t all youth ministries grow? Are we not following the right formula? The same gospel is preached. Youth workers (volunteer and bi-vocational mostly) are working hard and doing all they can, to know avail.
That’s the thing. Persistence can turn into delusion and we don’t even know it. We soldier on, believing if we change the way we play games, the videos we use, and adjust our preaching it will work and yet, nothing.
“But if they would just..” Yeah, I’ve said that. Some of this advice is true and would work if implemented on a small scale.
I’m just wondering how many good youth workers are working persistently to attain results that are never going to come and how many youth workers have figured out their delusion, bailed and experienced unbelievable relief.
God can do anything. That doesn’t mean he will, no matter how hard we pray, work, fast, tithe, or worship. Sometimes we have to accept that our effort is just not good enough, and move on.
Is this what Jesus meant by shaking the dust from your feet? “Stop being delusional and move on. They will never accept what you are offering.”
So, is it is easier these days to become Steven Furtick or grow a youth ministry?
What do you think, what’s the difference between persistence and delusion?