While my blog series focusing on “being okay with imperfect” started 30 days ago, God’s been teaching me this lesson for quite a while longer. One of the ways I’ve seen myself being forced to be okay with imperfect is in realizing that ministry is MESSY! As you’ve probably figured out in the last 30 days, I prefer perfection. I prefer things to be organized and always in their place. I’ve come to realize that just can’t happen in effective ministry.
Take First Trinity’s Young Adult Ministry for example. As I packed up my car and moved halfway across the country to begin my internship, First Trinity’s “College Ministry” consisted solely of writing notes to college students a few times throughout the year. I am extremely thankful for this ministry and it continues to be a blessing to students still today. However, that didn’t give much direction for the overall ministry that made up 45% of my job description.
Without many young adult ministry models to follow, it’s been a messy process. Aside from simply getting to know people and building relationships with them, “trial and error” has been our most frequently used method. However, I’ve seen God do some AMAZING things in the midst of the mess. GOD IS AT WORK! LIVES ARE BEING CHANGED!
Whether it’s starting a new ministry or just going through the everyday tasks as a DCE, I’ve come to realize that I can’t really make anything happen that’s worth anything if I’m not willing to live with a little mess for a while. Often this “better way” is very intimidating. Taking the effort to make programs and ministries that are truly valuable can be very daunting. It’s kind of like baking bread, which can often be an intimidating task. I can have this great idea to bake my own bread instead of just buying a cheap $.99 loaf from the store. However, the process can just seem overwhelming; the hardest part is just getting started. Even if you know it’d be worth it in the end, and each step in itself is not difficult, you still have to actually DO it.
There is a huge part of me that likes to dream big dreams, but holds back because of the mess it may take to get there. I have to be willing to take that first step and “get out all the ingredients”… I’ve gotta just get started. Thankfully, as we turn to God, he is always faithful to give us the “ingredients” we need. Instead of being scared of the whole process and worrying about getting it perfect, we can simply just keep turning to him for the next step, and the next step, and the next step, of the recipe trusting that even if it looks a little messy right now (like when you have to dump flour all over the counter to knead the bread dough), it will be worth our time and effort in the long run.
Thanks be to God that our Savior Jesus was willing to show up, right in the middle of our mess as a man and walk with us on this earth… Dying, rising, forgiving, loving. And he still enters in, day after day, right in the middle of our mess! And that’s why we have to be okay with messy sometimes, because that’s often where God shows up in the biggest ways… in ministry, and just in life!