Marv Penner was honored this year by being inducted into the Youth Ministry Hall of Fame at the National Youth Workers Convention. A few days later, he shared on his Facebook page that he could think of a hundred more people in the room that night who were more deserving of affirmation and recognition than he was.
Very few of us will ever be given such a formal honor. After all, the ones who have been formally inducted have been in youth ministry for decades, are well known in youth ministry world, speak around the country or have written books.
I happen to have worked with another person who was inducted into the Youth Ministry Hall of Fame and even gave a twenty-second affirmation in the video they showed when it was announced. He was well-deserving for all that he contributed to the field of youth ministry, but more so, his character and love for Jesus emulates what most of us strive for.
Only a small number of us would qualify even to be considered to become a Youth Ministry Hall of Famer. However, all of us can be faithful where He has us. That principle is best captured by Francis Schaeffer who wrote,
“We must remember throughout our lives that in God’s sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated in God’s place for us, at each moment.”
It’s hard to live in the moment and remain consecrated amidst the usual ordeals we face. The only way we can prepare ourselves for the inevitable pain and torment that life eventually delivers is to guard our hearts, renew our minds with God’s truth, and sow the spiritual habits that reap a more sanctified life.
What are the spiritual practices that have strengthened you the most? Are you still faithful in doing them?
Take ten minutes and prayerfully contemplate what God would have you do. When we allow God’s truths to shape us, we will better endure being blindsided by life. It’s during those times, especially, when we show our faithfulness, and it can give us a glimmer of hope to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And that’s immeasurably better than being recognized as a Hall of Fame Youth Worker.
Len has been in ministry for over 25 years and has written more than 100 articles for various youth ministry publications. He’s served as a convention pastor for youth leaders and has also led a nationwide pastoral care service for those in youth ministry for over two years. He walks with a limp but joyfully walks alongside youth leaders.