I had the chance to speak to a group of middle school students on Sunday. It was one of the best learning experiences I have had directly related to speaking in a long time. I was forced to adapt my speaking style, change some of my natural tendencies, and adjust on the fly. It was one of the most rewarding experiences. After sitting back and analyzing the process and talking through some of my thoughts with others, I came up with a list of four things I learned about me and speaking from this opportunity. In no way are these thoughts meant to be derogatory or negative. They are just observations I made about myself and speaking to students. The four lessons will be posted as shorter posts so that they are easier to process. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.
- I learn through the process. [Click here to read post]
- I cannot come home to an empty house. [Click here to read post]
- It takes a specific person to a specific job. – This seems like common sense, but I feel like many times people are put in situations that are outside of their strengths. I understand that God uses every situation to grow us, and we need to be in situations we cannot handle so we are forced to lean on Him for strength. Sometimes, I believe, we are so far out in left field that even God says, “This was not what I created you for. What are you thinking?” I would not go as far to say that speaking to students is not something I should ever do again, but what I do know is speaking to students is not the ultimate calling God has on my life. Do not get me wrong, I love the opportunity and would do again if asked, but I know this is not my sweet spot. There is something invigorating about being in your sweet spot and doing the things that God created you to do. That does not mean that if you are in your sweet spot everything will always be easy. In fact, it should be the opposite. I was listening to a sermon by Steven Furtick and his argument was that you should always be working from your sweet spot but that does not always mean it will be comfortable. If you are doing something that you were not created for, then it will be extra work and eventually become a strain. But, if you are doing what you were created for, it will be less of a oppressive strain and more of a challenging burden. It takes a specific type of person for each particular burden. I cannot shoulder yours; you cannot shoulder mine. We can help each other along the way, but I cannot take up what God has equipped you to do and visa versa. For me, student ministry is outside of my sweet spot. Now, that does not mean I will not continue to say yes to opportunities and allow God to mold me and shape me through them, but it does mean that I know my goal does not end with what happens on a week to week basis if I am given the opportunity. I am thankful and humbled, but I also know God has placed a different vision on my heart, given me a different set of skills for ministry, and created me a specific way for a specific purpose in the future. I will not let go of that specific vision, but I will be obedient in the present by supporting those who cast the vision for what I am a part of now. Because they are the specific person for this specific job at this specific time. God has placed them here for a reason, and for that, I am grateful.