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Getting the Wrong Things Ready

03 Dec Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Getting the Wrong Things Ready
Getting the Wrong Things Ready

It seems like every year, the holiday season gets busier and busier. What was once Black Friday is now Black Thursday, which used to be Thanksgiving. What was once 2 additional Christmas Eve services is looking like it’ll need to be 4 this year. The simple appreciation dinner for your volunteers has grown with success into a full-blown circus of gratitude for the whole family, complete with laser light show timed to Mannheim Steamroller. Okay, maybe you’re not quite there yet, but you get my point.

It feels like we keep trying to improve
our holiday efforts through addition.

But more doesn’t always equate to better, does it? In fact, sometimes it seems to lead to the exact opposite. As the quantity goes up, it feels like the quality goes down. Less attention to those around us, because we’re so busy getting ready to serve them. Less enjoyment in simple moments of peace, because there’s still so much to get done. Less time to wait expectantly for His arrival, and more crammed into every overloaded moment.

It sometimes feels like the dirty little secret of people in ministry: that the holiday season can be the most stressful, taxing and joyless experiences of our year. In the rush to get everything  ready for those special moments, we never had the opportunity to ready ourselves.

Let’s take a moment and think about
what we’re really getting ready for.


This Advent season…
What is God inviting you to take off your plate?
Where is God asking you to create space and time?

This Advent season…
How will you remember that Jesus has come and anticipate His coming again?
What will you do to prepare your heart for more than a busy ministry season?

This Advent season…
What will you do in the midst of your waiting?
Where will you invest your presence?

We invite you to carve out a few minutes today to sit with these questions. Don’t let them go unconsidered this Holiday Season. As a youth worker, this season of the year gets busier and busier with appreciation dinners, service projects, church-wide concerts and plays. Its easy to get lost in the midst of much ministry busyness. Take a few minutes, even right now, to commit in your heart to wait on God during Advent this year.

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Aaron Brown
Professor of Student Min at Lancaster Bible College
Aaron Brown is an Assistant Professor of Student Ministry at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA. He attended Biola University and Talbot School of Theology. Before coming to LBC, he was the Sr. High Director at Living Word Community Church in Red Lion, PA. Aaron serves as the Project's editor and web guy.