By: Steve Surbaugh

Two short years ago I was in the midst of ministry that from the outside seemed healthy. However, if you were to take a closer look, you would have seen canyons of inefficiencies.  You would have met a director who loved kids, loved Jesus, but had an ego the size of Connecticut.  I had some very deep flaws in my perspective on how to work with and develop ministry teams.  I am thankful that we serve a God that has tremendous patience and faithfulness to not leave us how we are. Allow me to share with you some attitudes that God has fervently been asking me to let go of with my ministry teams.

  1. Adults Are Involved Because They Want To Serve Me.
    “I am the director right?  They should be here to assist me.”  I might have never spoken those words aloud, but my actions and attitudes surely made it apparent.  This was one of the main reasons why I ran through adults like printer paper.  It was only in realizing that adults were using YFC as a vehicle for their passion for Jesus and kids that my attitude changed.  I soon began to see adults as more than juice pourers and voice controlled remotes.  They were God-given assets that needed to be developed and empowered to do ministry, just as I was.
     
  2. You Can’t Do That As Well As Me.
    Whether it was a game, discussion, or wrap up, no one was as good as me…or so I thought.  The reality is that they might not be.  So what?  I’ve ran some terrible games, discussions and wrap ups myself.  I improved through my mistakes, developed new skills, and became a better leader.  Even at the risk of failure, we cannot take away opportunities to empower people beyond their current capabilities.  What if someone had done that to me?
     
  3. I Can Meet Every Need For Every Student.
    If I saw a student interacting and having fun with an adult other than me, alarms went up in my ego.  “That should be me!” I thought to myself.  What was revolutionary to me was learning that Jesus had spent almost 80% of his time on earth empowering others to do his work after he was gone.  My thoughts have slowly shifted from “How I can connect with this student?” to “Who can I get that would connect with this student?”  Life is too short and our mission is too big to be bogged down by an overzealous ego.
     
  4. Allowing You to Be Involved Should Be Your Reward.
    I would have never thought of encouraging an adult or writing them a heartfelt letter two years ago.  They were adults for crying out loud, and my job here is to love kids.  However, when I began caring for my volunteers as people and engaging in deeper relationships, I learned that they needed as much encouragement and love as my students did. My eyes are now open to finding opportunities to encourage my ministry team. 

A heartfelt apology, a contrite heart, and major attitude changes (not possible without Jesus) made all the difference in my ministry.

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