I have, at times, not liked how I have done youth ministry. It is easy, too easy, to look around and see something being done by someone else, somewhere else, and assume you should be doing the same.
But I am not someone else.
I am not somewhere else.
I am me. I am here.
Now that the obvious has been stated, allow me to go deeper. Ministry, much like any other career in life, is work. It takes strategy, sweat, creativity, effort and personality. Yes, personality. Every CEO has a personality that, at least to a small degree, determines the direction of their company. The same is true for every church and every ministry within that church.
The personality of the leader is not the only factor, of course, because there are plenty of other...ummm...personalities that will affect the shape and direction of the ministry. But accepting who I am, and who I am not, will be crucial to how I see my ministry.
This is where my continued search for insignificance connects to my ministry. (It's also a rare example of synergy in my writing. Embrace it, because I make no guarantees when this will ever happen again.)
See, when I mention seeing other youth ministries, I am not referring to their rooms or their budgets. I am not thinking about their events or their numbers. Those all get noticed, of course, but what I tend to pay attention to is the personality of the leader. Are they funnier? Are they cooler? Do they have more youth cred?
But, in a moment of total awareness, I am reminded that God did not call me to be like the youth pastor down the street. He did not call me to go and create a mirror image of every other youth ministry out there.
Perhaps, in God's wisdom, He actually created me in a certain way, calling me to a particular group of people who might actually benefit from a personality like mine. Hard to believe sometimes, but I'll put that out there anyway.
Obviously, if it's true for an insignificant such as myself, the same is true for you as well. I don't know what role you fill in your community, but consider for a moment the uniqueness you bring. Embrace it. You might even thank God for it!