Ministry Blog

Worrying, Searching and Failed Experiments

Posted by Robert Jones on

I just recently returned from Youth Summer Camp, and it's been a long time since I was either a youth pastor or even a counselor at a summer camp.  Of course, many things have changed including the style of worship, the type of activities, the current student culture, etc.  But for me personally, I was counting on one thing to be the same:  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our students.  I wasn't disappointed!  As a parent of two teenagers, I find myself praying for them each day with greater desperation as they get older and approach adulthood.  Ironically, there are so many things I have no control over regarding their future, but I know that if God has his hand upon them, they will ultimately succeed.  At the end of camp my eyes were filled with tears as I watched them encounter God at the altars while lifting their hands in worship and surrendering their lives to his will.  There are many great moments in a parent's life, but knowing that your kids are truly following after God is certainly one of the most satisfying.

I have been a pastor for nearly 27 years, and I have experienced nearly every type of ministry technique in existence.  For those who know me, they've watched me travel all over the world and serve in many different churches, which obviously has been a blessings and a trial, all at the same time.  Moving a lot; is hard.  In every new town, we try to adapt by finding schools for the kids, helping them get acquainted and make new friends, finding new doctors, dentists and grocery stores with the best deals.  Suffice it to say, we are road weary and ready to settle down.  Yet our travels have been a huge blessing in other ways, because we've seen the world and experienced things that very few people are fortunate to do during their lifetime.

One of the bonuses of our adventurous lifestyle has been the unique perspective of visiting so many different churches.  There is truly no singular ministry method or formula that works in all churches or situations.  I have often said, "There are a lot of ways to do church."  Yet the churches and spiritual leaders that are inspired, or spirit led, quite often see success and growth far quicker than other ministries.  Those types of churches are often asked what they did to succeed, and more often than not, the copycats can't seem to duplicate the results.

Recently, I put a quote on Facebook that the Lord gave me during my prayer time one day.  I wrote, "The older I get the more I realize that what I think are my geniuses and talent is actually the manifestation of a very well developed relationship with the Holy Spirit."  No matter if you are praying for your kids to succeed, praying for your church to grow or praying that God gives you direction in life, at some point we all must acknowledge that our research to find the perfect formula pales in comparison to receiving inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  Listening to God's still small voice of wisdom can save you hours and hours of worrying, searching and failed experiments.

~ Pastor Robert

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