Leaders, particularly those in children’s and youth ministry, step up to serve in response to God. Why else would they invest so much time into other people’s kids and families? Clearly, there must be something in the water – and there is!
A person’s desire for disciple making increases when they decide to trust and follow Christ. They want to become like Jesus through and through. And, they can’t wait to tell the world about God’s good news. It’s like finding an oasis in the desert. After discovering life-giving water, how could you resist spreading word?
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
This kind of radical conversion is what happened in John 4 when the Samaritan woman encountered Christ at the well. She was totally transformed by a conversation about physical and spiritual water. Once she clued in to what was going on, she ran home and her entire community was changed.
Spiritually speaking, there was something in the water, and God provided enough of it for the Samaritan woman, her village, and ultimately the whole world. The same is true for you and everyone impacted by your ministry. You have unlimited access to Jesus’ life-giving water, a gift that you can extend to every kid, family, and leader you know. But, you and your team of kid-influencers must stay close to the Source.
Stay Close to the Source
Be completely honest. Compared to the Samaritan woman, how enthusiastic are your children’s and youth ministry leaders about God’s living water and the person of Christ? Are they full to overflowing with Jesus’ character or just going through the motions until the season ends? Essentially, would you describe them as spiritually refreshed or parched from serving all year?
Followers of Jesus know there’s something in the water worth sharing. If you’re concerned with your answers to any of the questions above, here are four tips and follow-up questions to stay close to Christ for ongoing spiritual refreshment.
Seek pure water.
I’ve traveled several times to developing countries. It’s hard to stomach the sight of kids or moms drawing water from a shallow well. Most of the time the water’s tainted, resulting in sickness and disease. Sometimes drilling a fresh well is extra difficult because the water table is deep. Still, this news brings hope and inspires the hard work needed to access pure water. Allow this imagery to inspire your team and you to boldly seek the Lord to refresh you spiritually.
What’s in the way of your team and you being spiritually refreshed by God these days?
What will eliminate this barrier so your team and you can seek Christ’s pure living water?
Steep in truth daily.
No one drifts into disciple making. Great intentionality is required to become like Jesus through and through. To effectively influence others to know, love, and serve Him for life, you need commitment and consistency that reflects Christ. Spending time in God’s Word and prayer are vital for true discipleship, as are solitude, spiritual friendships, and serving. There’s no formula for growing in faith, but staying close to Christ daily is critical.
How do you lean into the Bible and prayer as a way to encourage your leaders?
What do disciples in your ministry need as encouragement to take faith-growing steps?
Soak in community.
After meeting with Jesus, the Samaritan woman couldn’t wait to tell her town what had happened. The Lord knew tough things about her that were probably common knowledge, yet He didn’t shame her for being sinful. The Samaritan woman shared the love of Christ and got her village as close to the Source as possible. Once they heard God’s truth for themselves, the entire community changed for good.
What opportunities do you give your leaders to celebrate and challenge each other?
How can your team take time to worship God together to grow as a family of disciples?
Share the well.
What do you do when you receive more than you need? After thanking God (and as a way to honor Him), the best thing to do is share your abundance with others. This is how the early church lived out love for one another, and it’s the same today. Beyond caring for people inside God’s family, He calls us to reach and serve people far from Him. Being close to the Source should compel you to let others know where they can find Christ for themselves.
Who is your ministry regularly praying for and sharing God’s good news with?
What could your team and you do differently to point more kids and families to Jesus?
Use the four tips and follow-up questions above as a starting point for your team and you to stay close to the Source. Get the conversation going and see what surfaces. The goal isn’t to do a whole bunch of new or additional things. There’s something in the water that’s worth sharing, but it’s hard when you feel dry inside. Hopefully this post will help you engage in what will refresh your team and you spiritually in the middle of this season of serving.