A few days ago, I made my yearly trek to my doctor’s office to get my wellness checkup. A few days prior to that I took care of giving up a few vials of blood that would give my doctor some indication of how I’m doing with all of those factors that deal with exercise, eating well, and general health issues for a guy in his mid-40s. It’s a smart thing to go see my doctor on a yearly basis to make sure everything is working properly! In fact, I’ve already got my appointment made for next year.
When it comes to health, most of us will say it’s important to get a checkup every year. It’s nice to celebrate the good numbers that show up on my chart and it’s a needed reminder to hear of some ways that I could be even healthier (I know…I need to exercise more).
So why don’t we regularly take time to check up on how we’re doing with our walk with Jesus? As leaders of young adult ministry, we often get so busy or wrapped up doing our work that we fail to examine how we’re REALLY doing in the area of following Jesus. And let’s be honest, the enemy doesn’t want us to think through this – he would rather us go about our business and never pause to examine our walk with Jesus.
If you’re not already doing so, I encourage you to take time at least once a year to get away for an afternoon or a day for some reflection. Find a place where you can be alone and ask yourself the hard questions in the area of personal soul care and discipleship.
Here are some areas to examine:
1. Is there unconfessed sin in your life?
Let’s start off with the big question. Have you gotten lazy in areas of your life where temptation has resulted in unconfessed sin? If there is persistent and unconfessed sin that continues to invade our lives, it will affect our ministry leadership. Period.
Search your soul for persistent sin. Confess this to the Lord – as a follower of Christ, He has already forgiven that sin! – but agree with Him that it’s made things cloudy in the way you have related to Him. Find an accountability partner with whom you’re able to talk through these areas of sin with. This needs to be someone who will be honest with you and ask you the hard questions.
2. Are you studying Scripture to hear from the Lord?
As leaders, we’re often preparing for small group studies, gearing up for opportunities to teach, and helping others understand the Word of God in their lives. But, are we taking the necessary time to fall deeper in love with the Scripture in our own lives? Are we allowing God to speak to US through His Word? Are we being obedient to what the Lord is calling us to do as a result of the time that we’re spending with Him through His Word and prayer?
3. Are you praying for the young adults in your group?
In the midst of busy lives, we sometimes forget one of the most important aspects of being a young adult ministry leader. Are we REALLY praying for the young adults in our church and in our community to truly KNOW the joy of what it means to be a follower of Jesus? Are we praying for the young adults in our community that have deep reservations toward the church and resist Christianity? Are we praying that God will move among young adults that will result in many coming to be followers of Jesus?
Obviously, there are a number of other areas that we should check up on, but these are some key indicators that point toward personal health as a leader. Don’t neglect that yearly (or more often) checkup – it can’t be put off!
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.