by Traever Wieland, Campus Life [M] National Team, Ft. Wayne YFC


Watch this video!

Excruciating. That is the word to describe watching middle school kids running the hurdles at a track meet.  I’m not sure I have been to one track meet, especially early in the season, that I have not seen a kid fall.  Before the gun goes off, I begin to feel the anxiety build in me. It’s not a matter of if kids will fall, it’s how many. Which kid will take the wrong steps, jump too early, or jump too late and not be able to clear the hurdle? 

The gun goes off, their teammates encourage and parents root their kids to the finish, but anyone who has been around a middle school track meet is ultimately waiting...waiting for the sound of the hurdle followed quickly by the groan of the crowd as the runner hits the asphalt below.  For a brief second there is a pause followed by the runner frantically getting to their feet to finish. The fall is part of the race.  What I have observed is that the fallen, embarrassed runner becomes the story of the race.  The winner gets their ribbon, but the scraped knees and palms get everyone’s attention.

There are times in ministry that I feel like this track hurdle runner.  I have the best of intentions, but then the gun goes off (and some people may cheer me on), but the hurdles are higher than I thought and down I go.  All those relationships with kids don’t turn into huge club numbers.  I don’t have the courage to turn the corner with a kid and tell them about Jesus.  I make a mistake in planning and look foolish and unprofessional to the school’s administration.  I fall and I fall and I fall…but just like the girl in the video, I keep getting up. 

You see in ministry, just like in life, the fall is part of the race.  No matter how many times you fall, no matter how badly it hurts, no matter what others think, your job is to finish.

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

As you lead others:
Show the above clip.

Tell us about some of the hurdles in your life.
What did you learn from those hurdles? 
How can you help others over those same hurdles?
Why do you keep getting up?
What is the task Jesus has given you?
Name some people in the Bible that fell multiple times, but got back up and finished the race.

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