In November of 2004, I had a fight with God. I decided that I was no longer going to be a pastor (especially a youth pastor), because the youth I was leading were simply horrible, disobedient, rebellious young people.
Or so I thought.
I ran across a set of verses recently that reminded me that my feelings (whether correct or not) have already been experienced by people who lived long before me.
At a particular point of frustration, Moses says the following words in Numbers 11:11-15:
And Moses said to the Lord , “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people? Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, `Give us meat to eat!’ I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!”
I’m often tempted to think that ministry is about me. I believe it has to do with MY comfort, MY success, MY popularity, MY blessing, and MY glory.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Notice God’s response in Numbers 11:16-17:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you. I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone.
Did you see that? GOD DOESN’T EVEN ADDRESS MOSES’ CONCERNS.
It’s as if the God of the universe is saying, “I don’t care!”
That was similar to the response God gave me almost eight years ago. He made clear to me that He is Sovereign and that He has a plan to accomplish His purpose here on earth. My only decision was to decide if I wanted to be a part of what He was going to do.
Thankfully, I agreed. God spoke to me and told me to do exactly as He told Moses. I grabbed a group of young people who wanted to be filled with the Spirit of God and used by Him for His purposes.
I taught them, prayed for them and trained them for ministry. That beginning group of 40 youth started something that revolutionized our youth ministry. As a result, our ministry reached thousands of young people, ministering weekly to many hundreds of them in various settings.
I believe God’s response to Moses accomplished two things. First, it moved Moses to a point where he could handle the duties that God had given him. This is what God did with me, and it worked! Second, by equipping others to do ministry, God was showing Moses how to set things up in a way that would multiply impact into the lives of other people. When I made that decision, our ministry started growing.
My point? God’s advice is both for ME and for the MINISTRY. One action will create health and multiplication!
I didn’t quit in 2004.
8 years later I find myself completely blessed to still be in ministry and honored to have the privilege of leading God’s people.
If you haven’t taken God’s advice to Moses, do it today. It will transform your life and your ministry.