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Losing Sight of God in the Details

12 Feb Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Losing Sight of God in the Details
Losing Sight of God in the Details
 

Another Night at Youth Group

You arrived early. You set up for the evening. You prayed with Volunteers. No major issues other than some spilled soda. You cleaned up. You prayed with Volunteers again. You drove a student home. You went home for the night. As you lay in bed, you start wondering…

“Did tonight even matter?”

Getting discouraged or bored in ministry can creep up on all of us. It’s a reality of ministry that sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a season that feels like a rut.  All of a sudden we are questioning – “is God in this? Are we making an impact in the lives of students? Are kids coming to know Christ?”

Recently, I had a baby boy (who happens to be absolutely amazing) and I took some time off from the non-profit where I serve. When I returned in the New Year, I wanted to evaluate everything. I started looking at our programs, volunteers, staff, our strategic plan, values etc. I dove into evaluations and then started to get discouraged. We had not met all of the goals of the previous year and we were behind on many of the strategic plans we had set in place. We were down on volunteers and we were having difficulty with some students.

Questions started filling my head.

 
 

“Be Still and Remember”

It took some time, but God began making it clear that I needed to stop what I was doing. In reality, I just needed to stop. I remember sitting in silence one day in my office. I remember deciding to take the next week off from all of the evaluations. I committed to entering a season of quiet so I could listen more clearly. Over the next few days, God reminded me of two significant ways He was answering prayers and moving in the ministry, things I was completely overlooking.

1. We received more funds from supporters than we have ever received at the end of year. In September we weren’t sure how we were going to do payroll. However, in January we were paying off debt and planning on what God had for us for the New Year. Supporters shared with us story after story of God speaking to them about donating generously to the ministry. With doors closing at many non-profits I am was profoundly struck by God’s faithfulness.

2. Another way God clearly moved in the ministry was in providing mentors. We had a waiting list for students to get a mentor from the community. It was discouraging to tell the school district and students that they would have to wait for someone. However, a week before our next Mentor training we had a huge response from the community and our class was full! The story was the same. They shared that God began to impress upon them to get involved in the life of a student. Praise God we are no longer need a waiting list!

 
 

Slow Down and See

Focusing on goals, plans, and strategies caused me to be discouraged. I continue to be reminded that when it’s all about our plans and our outlook it becomes less and less about God.  When we enter a season like this, it is time to slow down and observe where God may be moving in our own lives or the ministry where we serve.

My encouragement to any of you who are in a rut, discouraged or wondering where God is this: take some time to sit and reflect. Do this for an afternoon, a weekend, or even a week; however you can fit it in your schedule. Write down anything that comes to mind as you allow God to speak into your life. Try to avoid others being involved in this process. Just let it be you and God.

If you are really discouraged today, get some time away immediately.  Grab some coffee and a journal and find a quiet place to let God speak to you. Still feeling discouraged? Take some more reflection/processing time and consider inviting a trusted friend in ministry to hear some of the thoughts/ideas/frustrations etc. that you may be feeling.

This week, I encourage you to take time to slow down, be still, remember what God has done and see where He is moving.

 

Meredith Dahl
Executive Directory at Cross Connection Ministries
Meredith is the Executive Director of Cross Connection Ministries in New Holland, PA. She has received a Bachelor of Science in Student Ministry and a Master of Arts in Ministry (Concentration in Student Ministry) from Lancaster Bible College. Meredith and her husband live in New Holland with their baby boy Liam and love living, working and volunteering in their community.