Youth Worker Devotion: Count the Costs
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? “It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
This weeks Youth Worker Devotion focuses on Luke 14. The passage is about discipleship and following Jesus. In Rick Lawrence’s Jesus Centered Youth Ministry we see him explain and elicit a discussion about making a “beeline to Christ.” In Jesus’ own words to be a disciple we need to calculate the costs of being a Disciple of Christ.
However, Costs are much greater and go much further than we would expect. My journey into Youth Ministry has taken me far and wide in search of “the call” and it has led me to places I would have never dreamed of going only a few years ago. Several of these unexpected places are:
- Into Social Work, learning all about mental illness, crisis counseling and hospital social work. I used to hate hospitals (from my 21+ inpatient surgeries), now I can navigate them and be there doing what God has made me to do.
- To Maine. I once had a girlfriend and we talked about how far I was willing to Go in pursuit of ‘the call.’ I said, it’s not like I’m called to Maine or anything. A few years later, I met the woman of my dreams, the one God created just for me, and she was from Maine. I also was called to be a minister to a church there directing their Christian Education department, it was a great ministry and affirmation on my call.
- To Denver, Colorado. The pursuit has taken me to the Rockies, from the northeast. Thousands of miles away from friends and family, to build myself and build a ministry base that would go well with my social work background. It also brought me into the fields of pediatric palliative care and hospice. Two areas that I didn’t have much experience in, will pay off hugely in the years to come.
- Away from family. I’ve missed much family time over the past few years. This week they are at Camp-of-the-Woods, as I am out West working, trying to get interviews (pursuing one great opportunity) and holding off on my spending so I can make a move and enter a new church environment well.
Count the costs of ministry. I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t count the costs. Some of them fiscal, but many others are relational and emotional. The work of being a Disciple of Christ, called into Youth Ministry. Is not a light one. There are some whom are reading this who probably should reconsider and take a different journey. I will be praying for you. Some have selected this path and I will pray that you endure towards the prize at the end.
So, I’m curious, what are some of the costs that you have encountered in your Journey that you didn’t account for on your mission to become who you are today?