Every week I have the task of preparing my lesson for my youth. It is focusing around a theme that I believe God has laid on my heart and from there my lessons take shape based on what I am reading and believe God is wanting to say to His people.
However, as I was confronted recently by the spirit through the words of one who has many more years with God than I, I realized that what I knew that I knew that I knew as maybe not as known as I once thought. As the threat of just throwing it into autopilot is always present, I seemed to develop a catchphrase through my actions and my preparation that I was completely unaware of. As I looked back at my weekly preparation and the steps taken as I develop the lesson, to the moments leading up to Wednesday nights all the way to the delivery of the message, I realized that I had hung a figurative big sign up at the entrance of the youth area and didn’t even realize it.
The sign read, “God welcome, but not necessary.” As I sat and reflected back on services of past I was stunned to realize that I had become so busy prepping, trying to be relevant and wanting to fill the seats and possibly the biggest of them all feeling that I, let me say that again I, had it all under control. At some point I crossed from, “God help us and meet with us” to “God if you can show up tonight great, but if not I got it, no biggy.”
Somehow I had lost sight of the biggest proponent of life. Apparently at some point without fully realizing and allowing the mechanics of ministry and life to make God an option, not a necessity to ministry. It was as if somehow I believed or allowed the idea to creep into the day to day that whether God was there or not. We were going to do ministry and we can and did sing songs of worship, discussed and taught over and over again without once stopping to ask, is God even here? Is this even what He wants or desires for us.
It was as if we were a football team that determined that the coach was great to have on the sidelines, yet somehow not a must. That we could get to the goal all on our own strength and by any means we saw fit. Then when the enemy breaks through our line and drives us back to their territory we look to see what the coach wants us to do and realize He isn’t there. He is sitting in the stands as a spectator because that is the role we have reduced Him to.
The saddest part of it all is that this mentality can easily sneak into our everyday lives. From our dealings with our children and spouses to merely the manner in which we conduct ourselves. We would like it if God was there, but really we can do this thing called life without Him. I know I don’t want to spend my life wandering in the desert, but would rather be at the center of His will.
God welcome, and wholeheartedly necessary.
This post was written by Rev Adam Cheek, Youth Pastor at Grace Pointe Church of the Nazarene
BE A MAN.