God has allowed hard things in your life so you can show the world that your God is great and that knowing Him brings peace and joy, even when life is hard. – Francis Chan
Doing the will of God is extremely difficult. Even for people who desire above all thinigs to follow Him without compromise, when it comes to ACTUALLY having to put motion to that follow is very difficult. Let me try to explain.
I met Jesus in July of 2007. From that point I knew that Jesus wanted me to be in ministry, and I was willing to do whatever, or go whereever to make that a reality. My wife and I waited 5 years (three of those once we had a solid confirmation of our call) for Jesus to send us. And on June 9th 2012 He sent us to Oklahoma. This meant leaving our home church (MeadowBrook) and everything we had known as a married couple for 8 years. IT WAS HARD.
- Before this move I had watched my best friend in ministry leave to follow God’s calling. So not only is God’s call difficult for ministers, it has an effect on those who are not the ministers as well.
Continuing with my story, we moved to Oklahoma and planted ourselves there. We were close to my mom for the first time in a number of years, I had access to OKC, but MOST IMPORTANTLY we were blessed with an absolutly amazing group of students at the church we were moved to. We got to live life with these kids for four years, and it was an amazing four years. But then in July of 2016, God called us to move again. This move wasn’t an easy decision. It meant distance from my mom, and severing ties and relationships that had been built at our church over those four years. But the faithfulness of God allowed us to plant at our new church and begin to establish new realtaionships with another great group of students.
The truth is we love the students we are currently pouring into, and we love the current church we are planted at. At the same time we still love the students we connected with in Oklahoma, and we still love those people we connected with at MeadowBrook. BUT WHEN GOD CALLS US TO FOLLOW HIM, HE NEVER PROMISES AN EASY PATH. BUT HE IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!
As a Student Pastor you garner unique and personal relationships with your students. It is not that you don’t establish relationships with others in the church you are serving at, but you establish much more intimate relationships with the students you are serving. And anytime those relationships have to change because of a call of God it is difficult, but as I said it is worth it.
A couple of things that I want you as my readers to gain from this post:
- Above all things, the call of God must be the motivating factor. That call may mean leaving family, the comfort of familiarity, or a group of students that you are absolutly in love with. But even in light of these difficulties, God and His glory must be our motivation.
- Undertand how difficult it is for the minister who is actually making the move. While there is going to be hurt in the wake of a change (this hurt can come from both positive and negative separations), there is hurt and emotional pain that the minister carries.
- Make the Glory of Christ the focus in the aftermath of change. This can be something personal within individuals, or something that is pressed forward from the church as a whole. Mouring is okay (from both sides), but once you move past that refocus your eyes on Christ and know that these situations/circumstances are done by and according to God’s design.
- Lastly, don’t sever relationships. Whie relationships may never be entirely the same, and possibly awkward, don’t disolve them. I personally believe that it hurts both sides emotionally when we try to pretend the other doesn’t exist.
Let me end with a quote from John Piper on suffering:
[Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.
It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.
Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.] – John Piper
I love you guys!! Thanks for stopping by and reading.