Quit Trying to Be Wise [Time Out]

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)

I like Rick Warren. There, I said it. (Did you hear that? That was a whole bunch of clicks of people closing the window saying “oh, he’s one of those.” ) I’m really not a guy that tries to be just like him, using his same 5 purposes, and all that kind of stuff (couple more clicks). I just think, from what I’ve seen, that he’s a guy who really loves Jesus, does the best he can to communicate that, and tries to be faithful to what he believes he’s been called to. Now, he also is a great leader, I believe he’s wise (though he makes mistakes like the rest of us), an excellent communicator, and just an all around gifted individual.

He’s also one of those types of guys that people try to emulate (just like Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, Francis Chan, etc.). We look at these gifted people and try to emulate them. It’s often discouraging because we’re not these people, don’t have huge followings, and may not be as gifted in the same ways. It’s as if we have to be a superhero to be successful in ministry.

That’s why I love what Paul says:

For consider your calling, brothers: not may of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God… (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, ESV)

There doesn’t need to be anything inherently special about us. We don’t have to be what we constantly look for and what so many books tell us we need to try to be. It’s not about who we are (outside of a child of God), but about who God is and what he can do through us. It’s not our great intelligence that brings people to Christ, but God working through hearts. It’s not wise arguments, great ability, or positions. Those things bring attention to us. We need to bring attention to God.

Now, there are very gifted people using those gifts for the right reasons. There are people with great power who are using it well. God is using wise arguments to lead people to himself. Those are all good, and the point is not to stop trying. The point Paul’s making is that it’s all about God using all types of people, not just the “special” ones, and a call to us to rely on Him. Are we?

Questions for thought:

-Who am I trying to be? Am I emulating someone else, that their technique can be the Gospel? Am I being myself? Am I just trying to be as open as possible to God using me in any way?

-Do I get jealous of people who are doing it “better than me” and are “more gifted?”

-What’s the calling that God has called me to?

Adam Wormann is a Youth Pastor in Old Bridge, NJ where he’s been serving for the past 8 years. He is also one of the mentors at Life in Student Ministry and the editor of the “Time Out” series. You can stalk him on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on September 27, 2010

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