Monday, October 09, 2006

Idleness is the Youth Pastor's Playhouse

This morning I spent a few hours with the Lord and He convicted me of idleness, laziness, and distraction in my role and responsibilities as a pastor last week. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 commends the Church to warn those who are idle . . . well I surely felt warned and I share these thoughts with you to keep you from going down the pattern I have walked "off and on" since I entered the ministry. I challenge you to pray through the verses listed in regards to your life and commitment to serving God dutifully.

Here's what I wrote in my journal this morning:

Jeremiah 48:10 "A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!"

Context: YHWH God is pronouncing judgment on Moab through the prophet Jeremiah and prophecying their coming doom. Cursed is the person or people who fail to obey God when called to be God's agent in Moab's destruction.

Application: God has called me to be a part of a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20), and when I am lax in God's work I stand under a curse. I need to be engaged in battle wielding the sword of Truth bringing down strongholds. Is my sword blood-stained?

Proverbs 20:4 declares that a lazy laborer will not bring in a harvest. In fact, Proverbs 24:30-34 says a sluggard's reward is poverty, thorns, weeds and ruin. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 challenges me to earn the bread I eat, to avoid being a busybody, and to never tire in doing right.

Often in ministry I become a busybody, whether it is surfing the internet, blogging, loading my schedule with unintentional meetings and appointments, reading without a purpose, etc. O Lord forgive me for my idleness; give me strength and wisdom to be diligent in ministry. I want to be faithful to the Lord's work. I want to be engaged in the spiritual battle, a warrior with a bloodstained sword, and ultimately sharing in the victory of Jesus Christ.

2 comments:

Tim said...

I too struggle with idleness at times. It's easy to justify surfing for just the right picture, illustration, idea, etc... Thank you for the thoughts. You are da-bomb!

I'm not fantastic at avoiding idleness. Unfortunatley for me, it easily carries over to home (after the kids are in bed). Lori and I are working on keeping one another accountable at home

Tim

PS - tried to post it once - but don't think it worked. Not sure.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Good thoughts. The question I have is what is the definition of "being in the battle"? Does that mean that unless you are talking to someone about Christ (or showing the outward manifestaiton of his love) that you are bing idle? I am not questioning your conviction, but I do think that there are times of sharpening swords, watering horses, sparring, suiting up, and resting. Youth ministry is ebb and flow. This weekend you will be staying up ALL night with junior highers--is that the ministry battle? So, would chilling out this week to get ready for BLITZ be idleness? I don't think so. Ecclesiastes had it right when it discusses the seasons of life...minitry too. Thanks for the post. I love you blog.

Brandon