Thursday, January 5, 2012

Inadequate in Ministry

What do you do when it doesn't feel like you can do anything right? 

I know that coming back from the AIM mission field, that's an easy thought pattern to slip into. When I shifted fields from Boston to Wichita Falls, TX, back in '93, in order to do a youth ministry internship with my home congregation, several times I got caught up in situations that left me feeling like I couldn't do anything right. In fact, at one point I even said that I would never get into youth ministry.

I think, in my case at least, we get fooled into thinking that we're supposed to be able to do things on our own. 

By the time we leave our mission fields, a lot of you have had to learn a whole new language to survive, and you leave having this fluency that you never would have imagined you could. We left behind a college Bible study and a small group of teens that had grown closer together. It's easy to look back on that as we board the plane or train, or dare I say, automobile, and think, "I did all that."

And it's a trap.

Some of you will have heard a guy named Randy Harris speak before. One time I heard him speak at an event about his mantra that he repeats to himself every morning. I like it so much that I took his mantra, put the Scriptures with it that he referenced, and printed it to put up in my office.

The first part of this mantra says, "Today I will be incompetent." 

The Bible verse that is the basis for his statement is 2 Corinthians 3:5: "Not that we are competent to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." I love to read that each day when I come in my office, because I tend toward pride. It reminds me that I'm a bumbling idiot left to my own devices, but when this bumbling idiot gets in God's way and lets Him push him around, amazing things can happen. 

So what do you do when it doesn't feel like you can do anything right? Remember that you're correct. All you need to do is keep making your mistakes in the path of God, and He'll be the Adequate One for you.

When have you felt inadequate to work for God?

- Donovan Fox 

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