Think about the following statement as you consider your youth work, children’s work, family ministry . . .

The best thing we can offer those we minister to is a healthy us

Life in all it’s fullness is found in Christ; John 10:10 makes it clear as Jesus speaks of why he has come, but – if we are called to make disciples, what is the model of our own lives?  How do we draw others to Christ, point to Christ, live for Christ ourselves, hold on to the Word of Life, hold out the Word of life to others, give everything to Him . . . somehow, we must find the balance between what we use to “do” ministry (money, resources, an organisation we work for, contacts, programmes, curriculum) and who we choose to “be” in ministry.

With all that we have at our disposal, we can do wonderful things or mess it up (regardless of how much of the things above we have available to us!) – our attitude, values, priorities, our character, our vision, our passion . . . none of those things can be purchased from a bookstore or Christian Resource Exhibition.

No programme or curriculum can make up for . . . you.

You – who you are, not what you do – is the most important aspect of your ministry to and with others.  You must nurture, encourage, look after and value yourself.  A healthy you is about your life that is, as the author of Colossians says,

For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God

That is one of the most liberating, staggering, take your breath away phrases in scripture.

Your life.

Hidden – the word here is about being covered, and in this form of the greek it is also about “place” where are we?  We are covered, covered by Christ – we are with Him.  That place, that position, our “seated with Him” (see Ephesians 2:6) . . . our place with Christ leads to what we do . . . it comes first.  We cannot “do” ourselves in to this place by delivering amazing youth work, spending all our hours serving others, being seen to be at everything the church is doing . . . .

We cannot earn a better place with God than we already have – in Christ.

So, do we have a healthy view of ourselves?  Are we in a healthy place?  If our identity and our sense of self is now hidden with Christ, we are seated with Him, we delight in His presence . . . isn’t that ultimately what we long to see our young people grasp?

Children and young people follow footprints, better than blueprints.

They follow those who are walking after Christ, who simply know they are loved, live in that place of love and share their lives out of that love they have received.

This is who we are – not what we do.

If we get this right, if we can re-discover our place – in Christ, in Him, Covered . . . wholly His – then just wow, everything else will flow from this, the source of life living in us and through us.

Enabling us to be a resource to others.  You might be the only “Jesus” some young people, children, families see . . . you matter.