by Jen DeJong , YMA Senior Consultant

The frontage road near my house had some major reconstruction a few years back. They put up a new stone privacy wall along the highway, cleared out the hill next to the frontage road, and put down these huge stones on the frontage side of the privacy wall. Within a week of this work there were weeds already 2 and 3 feet tall growing out of the concrete, out of the huge stones, and out of the stone wall. Now years later the area is covered in weeds.

Sometimes I feel like my journey as a Christian looks like that privacy wall with weeds growing up through it. I try so hard to stay on the path that God wants for me (the highway) and even create habits in my life (the wall) to help me stay on the path but sin stills manages to creep in (the weeds). Pulling weeds is a continual part of being like Christ. If I stop worrying about the weeds, pretty soon I won’t be able see beyond them and may not know the difference between weeds and the flowers in my life.

What weeds are growing up tall around you? Can you tell what is a weed and what isn’t?

As Paul closes out his letter to the Romans, he urges them to watch out for “weeds”:

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Romans 16:17-19

We need to remember that being like Christ is not a one time thing but a life long journey. And our life long journey to be like Christ affects our ability to minister to youth. Weeds will grow up all around us and we have to continue pulling them from the roots. We also have to know how to tell the difference between flowers and weeds because sometimes it’s hard to tell. Our youth are in a phase of life where weeds and flowers really don’t look much different sometimes. “Be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil”- I challenge you to be a model for your youth watering the flowers in your life that God has given you and pulling the weeds before they overtake you.

Jen DeJong , Senior Consultant
Youth Ministry Architects / Children’s Ministry Architects
Building Sustainable Ministries……One Church at a Time
Phone/Fax (877) 462-5718


Twitter: @ymarchitects

Jen began working in youth ministry in 2002 as the Youth Program Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. Jen graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. & a M.S. in Developmental Psychology with a special emphasis on parental involvement in teenagers’ extracurricular activities. Jen currently resides in Belleville, IL (a St. Louis suburb) with her husband, Marc, their daughter Maria, and their two dogs.

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