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Sep 26

A quick spiritual check-up

I’ve yet to meet a youth leader who hasn’t been bothered whether the teenagers they lead are becoming more like Jesus or not. In fact, quite the opposite. I am so impressed by people’s desires and commitment to seeing young people come into a relationship with Jesus, to help them grow more like him, and to become all that God made them to be. But, and this is a great big BUT, my worry is that we (and I include myself in this group of youth leaders) are more concerned about the spiritual lives of those we lead than we are over our own.

As I think back to when I first started out in youth ministry, I was full of enthusiasm but not a lot of wisdom. In order for things to work well it was essential for me to lean on God for help. It still is like this for me, when I am asked to do something I haven’t done before or am not feeling confident in, I lean on God as I know I will look foolish if he doesn’t show up! The startling reality, however, is that as I grew in confidence in my own abilities and experiences, the less I needed to lean on God as I knew there were things that I could do well myself. The danger kicks in if and when we get to a stage where we know we can lead well, we can help people grow in their faith but we neglect our own walk with God. Sadly, an all to common experience.

Here’s a quick test to see whether you are in danger of forfeiting your spiritual growth. Answer the following questions honesty with a yes or no:

* Am I aware of what God has been trying to develop in me this week?

* Do I know a key passage of Scripture which God has been speaking directly to me about this week?

* Have I stopped this week to commune with God, and not only to ask for help with my work or ministry?

* Have I read a book on spiritual development (for myself) or listened to a talk in the last few weeks?

* Have I seen the fruit of the Spirit displayed in my life this week?

If you answer no to all those questions, you definitely need to give yourself some attention immediately. If you struggled to answer a few, maybe it would be a good idea to take some time out to hang out with your creator. If you answered yes to all of them, brilliant! No doubt, you will be seeing your ministry flying too! It’s funny how it works like that!

What one thing do you need to do to grow in your faith right now? What is holding you back? If you could change one part of your character to be more Christlike, what would it be? Please leave a comment below.