There is a framed phrase made from simple beans and seeds that hangs on my office wall. I received it on a trip to Tanzania. The phrase is in Swahili and says, “Yesu Atosha.” It means “Jesus is enough.”
The people who gave me the gift told me that I must have been rich to be able to come all the way to visit from America. They wanted to remind me that—even on the hard days or when I have everything I needed—Jesus is enough.
This phrase has stayed with me throughout my ministry. So, I want to talk about that with you. Do you recognize that truth in your own life? And what about the volunteers who serve alongside you in ministry each week? Do they know that Jesus is enough for them?
Investing in Your Team
I remember back when I was part of student ministry. One of the adults at our church started building a relationship with me and invited me into serving in our kids’ ministry. That invitation changed my life. Can you think of someone who invested in you, built friendship with you, or discipled you in your faith journey?
Chances are if you’re reading this, your answer is yes! That is also my answer. I remember how my friend John invested in my faith journey. It resulted in me answering God’s call on my life to say yes to a life of ministry while walking with Jesus.
I love the people who serve with me on the team I lead. In all honesty though, early in ministry I was so overwhelmed that I used to think that if I had someone in each role showing up on time and teaching kids and keeping them safe, we would be good. I was checking boxes instead of seeing the people.
Then I realized that I had missed something! I missed that Jesus wanted something for me more than He wanted something from me. Although my job was to raise up the body of Christ to do the work of Christ, I needed to see where the body of Christ was … mentally, physically, and spiritually.
As we continue to walk with Jesus and the people who serve in ministry alongside us this side of the pandemic, more than ever, I see how exhausted people are. How overwhelmed they are by life and all it is throwing at them. It made me remember a few things to prioritize.
Encourage Your Team
God has equipped you to lead. Trust in that! There are a few things you can do to encourage your team.
Believe in Yourself and Your Team
God made you, you are good, and you have a purpose! Many people I serve with will start out saying, “I’m just a volunteer.” But no, you are a person who God loves and has designed with a purpose. You get to lead children into a life-changing relationship with Jesus.
I remember when I asked Dawn to serve with me in kids’ ministry. She about passed out. She told me kids weren’t for her, and it wasn’t her calling. I asked what her calling was. She said that she loved to lead adults. So, we found a place she could lead adults and students who were investing in the lives of children. She became a ministry coach.
Dawn is a superstar! She is an incredible shepherd of leaders and a recruiter for the life-changing mission of ministry. But it took time and a follow-up question for me to help Dawn see God’s calling and then His wonder when she was obedient.
The Gift of Jesus’ Love
Remind your leaders that Jesus loves them and through Him they have salvation—not because they serve in your ministry. Jesus’ love is an incredible gift. I am often reminded that we need to help our leaders receive God’s forgiveness and love.
The transformation that we get to witness when someone has embraced the love of Jesus for them is so contagious that they can’t help but share His love with others. It seems like a no-brainer, but we all come from different pasts and need to be reminded of this. And it’s not just in our kids’ ministry settings that we need to share this love. What are the conversations that we have during the week with those we spend time with?
Sharing the Love
Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and encourage you and help you become more like Jesus. Recently I was having a meal with some ministry leaders from our church. Kathy, one of our leaders, started a conversation with our server. Her engagement with our server encouraged me.
She started a conversation and asked great questions, not to share the gospel, but to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. She wanted to show Jesus’ incredible love with the person who was serving us. Her compassion, empathy, and the Holy Spirit at work in her life led to a beautiful openness. As a result, this person decided to visit our church. They were receptive to hearing about this Jesus that had changed Kathy’s life.
I pray for this boldness every day. For me and you. That we would experience Jesus’ love for us and be so compelled by the Holy Spirit to share His love with others we encounter.
Because Jesus is enough, because I am known by Him and loved by Him, I can tell of His wonder to those I encounter. So can you! My prayer for you right now is that you would experience His Holy Spirit in your life and that you will be compelled to be a wonder-filled reflection of God to the world this week.