Bottom Line: Process is the steering wheel to your promise.
On a recent trip to Australia and New Zealand I was forced to get out of my comfort zone. Unlike in the US, people in both of these countries drive on the opposite side of the road, meaning that you’re steering wheel is where the passenger normally sits. To add insult to injury, I had no sense of direction. In L.A. most city streets are in the form of a grid, in which blocks are created. This is helpful in knowing whether you’re going South, West, North, or East. Even the freeway system tells you that you’re on Interstate 5 North if you’re on your way to Bakersfield. That isn’t the case abroad. Having no sense of direction leaves you trusting a GPS to get you from point A to point B. On numerous occasions I had to set aside my pride and trust the process in a foreign land.
I believe that there are many times in Youth Ministry we can become uncomfortable where God has placed us. At this point we may not have a sense of direction in where God wants to direct us. Yet, the key to this very uncomfortable feeling, is trust. We have to trust the process. When King David was anointed to be the future King of Israel as a young man, he didn’t instantly become King overnight. David had to go through a process that would prepare him to become the King of Israel. He had opportunities to defeat Saul, but that would’ve been a shortcut to his promise.
1) Process Determines Growth
When you trust the process you realize that it’s more than just a path to take, but more so coming to the realization that every day is an opportunity for growth. From the very first day you became a Youth Worker, up until this very day, you’ve had some significant opportunities for growth. We learn so much from our inadequacy of knowing where to go, which causes us to depend on God. I’m a firm believer that you are where you have to be to raise up students, but God also places you with the right students to bring something from within you. I personally struggle with being empathetic to situations, yet God has placed me in a position that requires me to check myself regularly in order to empathize with the plethora of struggles my students are dealing with. These past 6 years have definitely been years of growth as I’m in the process if being a better version of myself daily.
2) Process Provokes Patience
Every process you are a part of will require you be patient. This means that if you’re trying to instill a new system in your ministry, understand that it’s going to take time to develop. Every time you cast vision it will take time to be caught. Whenever you are trying to change the culture of your group it will not happen overnight. All these things require our patience to see them through. Rushing to get to these places may get you there but it may not be enough to keep you there. Some processes will be longer than others, but that’s okay, for the longer the process the greater the promise. Be patient in your season despite of how frustrating it is, for something amazing will be birthed from your process.
3) Process Carries You to Your Promise
In spite of a process feeling eternal, we must never become too comfortable in the season of process for it’s not our destination; it is what carries us to our promise. Pastor Alberto Bello in one of his sermons said, “there is no promise without the process.” We must learn to be content in the process and not complain because of it. Allow the process to steer you in the direction of your promise. If you are making every effort to grow your ministry and it seems to be at a standstill, don’t undermine your season of growth and patience. Your breakthrough will come soon. Statistically speaking the lifespan of a Youth Pastor is 18 months. This is evident that many throw in the towel without allowing the process to develop into their promise. We can preach to our students about trusting The Lord with all their hearts, yet we ourselves may not be trusting God to get us to where He’s leading us to.
Allow the season that you find yourself in cultivate growth and patience to get you to your destination. Enjoy every moment of it. I pray that you find the clarity and direction to get you though this season.
Praying for you and your ministry.