As our church reads through the gospel of Mark, I am amazed at the ministry of Jesus. How did he do it? How did Jesus not get burnt out? Did he get burnt out in ministry? The gospel of Mark is action packed and doesnʼt ever stop. When I read it, I feel the same way I feel when I binge watch Netflix. We could read about the three years of Jesus public ministry in 30 minutes. My record is eight 40-minute episodes of LOST in one day.
I become discouraged at times in ministry because I do not see action packed stories unfold before my eyes. My ministry is not like a Netflix binge but instead, it is more like watching a television series week-to-week (And I do not have a thousand different options of shows to watch). As a youth pastor and teacher, my ministry is mainly to middle/high schoolers. I have been in youth ministry for about two years now at Oakleaf Christian Fellowship and have been teaching at a Christian school for about the same time. If I
described my two years like two seasons of a show, they would say something like this:
Season 1 – Kevin tries to figure out how to minister to teenagers.
Season 2 – Kevin still tries to figure out how to minister to teenagers.
As I figure out youth ministry, I have learned a few things by looking at the life of Jesus:
Acceptance from God – I have learned that I am a delight in Godʼs eyes and that before I do any type of public ministry, He is already pleased with me because my life is found in Jesusʼ life. “And a voice came from heaven: ʻYou are my son, whom I love; with You I am well pleasedʼ” (Mark 1:11). After being baptized, Jesus heard these loving words from His heavenly Father. Before I minister to other people, I must allow my loving heavenly Father to minister to me. How can I teach others about Godʼs love if I do not know and feel it?
Solitude is NOT only for the Crazies – Jesus continually took Netflix breaks to spend alone time with His ministry source (Mark 1:35). Jesus must have been drained often by the demands of those around Him. He needed alone time with God. If Jesus spent time away from people, then I really must spend time away from people. But Jesus not only got away from people, He got into the presence of God. He really enjoyed His time with his Father. I am learning how much I enjoy my quiet moments with my heavenly Father. How can I minister to people out of an empty spirit?
Be Faithful in Planting Seeds…Leave the rest to God (Mark 4) – When I teach students about Jesus, who I am very passionate about, I unload on them all I know. The danger in teaching about something, or someone, that you are passionate about is that the listeners might not share the same amount of passion you have. However, Iʼve learned that my passion does not rely on otherʼs approval, just my heavenly Fatherʼs approval and I already have that. I have learned to continue planting seeds in the
￼studentʼs hearts and pray that their hearts will be like the good soil: receptive and productive.
As we read through the book of Mark, take it slow and digest the stories. What is God trying to teach you in this season in your life as you look at the example of Jesus?