I’m a huge fan of Christian rap. (Considering that my brother is a Christian rapper, this isn’t much of a surprise. Check out his music, here!)
One of my favorite Christian rappers is KB. If you’ve never listened to his music, you definitely should. His latest song “No Chains” is one that I’ve found myself listening to quite a bit lately. It’s a song that talks about freedom in Christ and just how incredible it is not to be chained up by the things of this world.
Isn’t freedom a wonderful thing? It’s often the topic of songs, books, blogs, and social media posts. How amazing is it when we are set free from the chains of anything that holds us down?
Let’s think about this in terms of youth ministry for a second: Is there anything that causes you to feel chained down, preventing you from leading in the way God has called you to?
Perhaps you didn't go to seminary and it's got you feeling inadequate? Maybe you feel like you're too young or too old to even consider being a youth pastor? What about anxiety? Your gender? Take time to insert whatever it is that might apply to you.
Friends, it’s so crazy what the Enemy uses to cause us to feel chained up. Please hear me when I say that the Lord desires for you to experience the freedom that comes from knowing you have been called by Him!
Allow me to share my testimony of freedom:
When I felt called to student ministry as a teenager, I had no idea there were people who believed that wasn’t a woman’s place. However, when I officially entered the field working on staff at a church, that reality hit me smack-dab in the face.
I had men telling me where my place was.
I had other women telling me where my place was.
I can’t tell you how many times I heard that where I belonged was behind a desk as an assistant. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being an assistant, I do believe there is a lot wrong with constantly telling an individual that is all they will ever do. Because of the constant voices I heard telling me what they believed I was capable of, the voice of the Lord—the ONLY voice that mattered—began to get quieter. I started to wonder if He had really called me to become a youth minister. Maybe I heard Him wrong? I became covered with chains of oppression, and they were so incredibly heavy.
Thankfully, the Lord took me out of that situation. He opened up a door that allowed me to joyfully walk in the area He had called me into. Can I be honest, though? Even though I was no longer in an environment where voices were belittling me because of my gender, I still felt like I didn’t belong. I still felt like an outsider around other youth ministers. Especially in my neck of the woods, where most youth pastors are white, male, and look nothing like me. (If you're reading this and you are a white, male, youth pastor please keep reading!)
Friends, God is so good. God so beautifully placed a crown of freedom on my head, reminding me that I am no longer shackled to the voices that lied to me. He led me to walk to in forgiveness with the individuals that hurt me. He also showed me that those very youth pastors that seemed so different from me were not enemies, but friends and allies on this journey.
I am no longer held down by the chains of feeling limited because I am a woman. God has set me F R E E and every single day He shows me that I am allowed a seat at the table. It doesn’t matter who I am or what has been said to me; instead, it matters who HE is and what HE says about me.
He says that I am called.
He says that I am chosen.
He says that I am free.
And friend, He says that You are free, as well!
If God has called you to minister, allow Him to remove those chains from you.
The I Didn’t Go to Seminary Chains.
The I’m Too Young Chains.
The I’m Too Old Chains.
The I’m Not Bold Enough Chains.
The I’m A Girl Chains.
The I’m Imperfect Chains.
You are called, chosen, and set free.
Get rid of those shackles and walk joyfully in His freedom.
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." - John 8:36 (NIV)