Get Into The Arena

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Franklin D Roosevelt

 


Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

 

So often in youth ministry we face criticism and it can come from many directions. From those we report to, from those we serve beside, from those we lead, from youth and parents, and even from ourselves. As leaders we make decisions regularly and that always sets us up to face criticism, but we do it for a reason.

I had the privilege of sharing on a recent panel where we were asked how as leaders we can still have vision, hope and faith when bad things happen in our lives? And also, how do you leaders give up so much and sacrifice for Jesus? My answer came down to a mixture of calling and love. Knowing that I am called has sustained me through many difficult moments and kept me pressing on as a leader/minister. And the love that God has shown me and has put in me for others sustains me as well. I have the usual doubts and questions, attitude issues and adjustments and continue to need God's grace and mercy, but He sustains me.

Don't be sidetracked by the critic, external or internal. Stay in the arena until God says your time is done. Whether your most recent experience has been a resounding win, an epic fail, or somewhere in between, please press in to God and dare greatly for His name and His kingdom's sake.