“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m good at quite a few things when it comes to youth ministry. I’m a boss when it comes to putting together sermons. I’m creative and can come up with an idea for almost anything. I’ve also learned how to minister to the awkward middle school boy (of which my ministry has a lot of).
Before I dub myself the “G.O.A.T” of youth ministry, let me also say this: there’s a lot I’m not so good at.
For example, partnering with parents is not my strong suit. Also, I can get so into creating that I forget to clue others in on my ideas. In addition to both of those, I have a hard time saying “no”, which has resulted in a lot of unnecessary headaches for me.
I could go on and on about the things I still need to work on as a youth leader. You might be saying, “Karli, don’t focus on your flaws! That will only bring you down!” A few months ago, I would have agreed with you. And while it is beneficial to remember what you are good at, sometimes we have to take a long hard look at areas of improvement for the sake of our ministries.
Think about your students for a moment. I’m almost certain that every youth group has at least one student that keeps getting themselves into trouble, whether it’s at school, at home…or with the law. As their leader, you see that there are certain things they should stop doing in order to improve—stop hanging with the wrong crowd, study harder, quit being disobedient to their parents, and so on. No matter how many times you tell this student to stop those detrimental actions, they see absolutely nothing wrong with their behavior. In turn, they keep going down the wrong path because they have not accepted that there are some things they need to work on.
You guys, the same goes for you and me as leaders! It can be hard to take a look at what we’re not good at and admit that we’re not good at it. But when we do we are also admitting that we need help. There is so much improvement that can happen when we take the time to humble ourselves.
What area of your ministry could you stand to work on? Perhaps you’re not the best at planning events? Maybe you’re not the best at communicating with your volunteers or fellow leadership? Is it possible that you’re like me and have hard time telling others “no” when it’s necessary?
Let me give you a few seconds to pinpoint those weaknesses of yours. Think long and hard about them. Got ‘em? Great.
Now that you’ve honestly admitted the areas you struggle in, give them to God. Surrender those weaknesses to Him and know that even through your flaws, He can still do a great work. It’s not about what we can do, because we will always come up short. Allow the Lord to be strong in the areas you are not.
One other thing I would add is to remember you’re not good at everything, so don’t think that you can do everything! What you aren’t skilled at might be the very thing another leader is. Hand it over to them and let them help you. (Hello? Body of Christ, amirite?)
Friends, please hear me when I say this: don’t let your weaknesses be the slow downfall of your ministry. Be honest about them, pray, and seek help. There is so much freedom that comes when we surrender our shortcomings and allow God to use them.