By: Kevin Lengerich

Focus.

Simple, but complicated.  And perhaps the most significant obstacle or open door to whether we will reach our community of teens for Christ.

So often in life we are asked to focus.  On work.  On class.  On the road.  On the movie.  On the task at hand.  Focus.  Admittedly, I struggle with focus.  I am the guy with two internet windows open (nine tabs apiece), two folders, iTunes, Word, Excel, Movie Maker, and the TV playing in the background.  Most of this with good purpose in mind.  Yet, it’s chaos.

We often do the same thing with life and ministry.  We have so many things on our platters that none of them get the attention that they need.  Some of them include important things that must be dealt with such as sin, family issues, and medical concerns, while others are menial tasks that, nevertheless, consume our minds.

What if we let all of that be secondary?

What if we organized our days, our time, and our mental capacities around our relationship with God?  What if, despite all of the things that really do need to be accomplished, our FOCUS was on God?

If you’re like me, you leave most of our regional and national conferences convicted and convinced that you need to be more intentional about contacting, or building times, or event planning, or some other aspect of ministry.  But maybe it’s more than that.  Maybe our teens need more than that.

Of course those things need our attention, but that attention should come as an outflowing of our focus on God.  I think back to a year ago when we were constantly reminded to “abide in God.”  It’s not that abiding in God will “make everything else work out.”  But, as we align our hearts with God’s, we see the world more and more from His perspective.  We see ministry from God’s perspective.  And if we see the ministry that we’ve been called to from the same perspective that God does, we have NO CHOICE but to do it with excellence.  We will encounter teens with compassion.  We will receive complaining parents in love.  We will find value in administrative duties.  And we will live by grace.

I know that I need to read more, pray more, manage better, and plan better.  But that’s not primary.  God is primary.  If my focus is God, I will slowly transform.  I will give proper attention to all of the needs in my life and those I’m ministering to because my will will be in tune with God’s will.  His heart will replace mine.  And teens will see God through me.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

The context is different, but a lesson can be learned… Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus, not the details along the way.  We accomplish the other tasks during our pursuit of Jesus, not the other way around.

Jesus performed miracles, taught, and endured the cross.  Those were all important.  But they only happened because His focus was properly fixed on His Father.  That’s how we know who He is.  That is how teens will know who we are….by our focus on God.

Focus.

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