It’s a Marathon

I was talking this morning with one of my youth volunteers over breakfast about the Dalai Lama. I had just read that when the current Dalai Lama dies, the powers that be will re-find him when he reincarnates as a baby. They will spend the next 20 or 30 years educating him on his past lives and training him to be a spiritual leader. Obviously I don’t agree with the whole reincarnation thing, but I love the view of how things happen. They realize that history is long, and great things can take a long time to accomplish. So they spend a couple decades getting ready for each generation. In my experiences of church in America, we usually go for the quick payout and want immediate results. The Bible, however, models something different.

John the Baptist’s whole ministry was one of preparation.
Moses wandered and wandered and wandered in the desert.
Jesus spent 30ish years preparing and 3ish years ministering.

And then this afternoon I came across this quote from Mike Yaconelli:
Jesus knew hurried disciples become ex-disciples. Modern youth ministry needs to understand our mission: planting, watering and waiting… in other words, unhurried discipleship. Jesus knew, and so should we, that discipleship lasts a lifetime.

In other words, this May when seniors leave the youth ministry, I don’t need to be concerned that they have met some predetermined criteria for having been successfully discipled. I do need to be concerned that they are equipped to continue on the journey of knowing and following Jesus for the rest of their lives.

In your place of ministry are you willing to be a preparer if that is where God calls you to be and leave the results and the time line to the Holy Spirit?


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