Even if you aren’t a sports fan, follow me for a second because the principles are transferable. Basketball teams are built one of two ways:
1. To meet an immediate need—Usually this is because the team wants to compete for a championship in the immediate future. Owners spend a lot of money to get the best players they can in an effort to win a trophy sooner rather than later.
2. For the long haul—This occurs when teams look for players who can learn and grow into who they need to be. These teams seek players with potential, not a finished product.
Now, in the world of basketball neither approach is wrong, but I do believe their is an issue when we think that we can build our teams the same way. I believe if we look at how Jesus chose the twelve disciples we would see that He had a preference. When Jesus called his disciples, he did so based on their potential. Sometimes we miss out because we’re looking for superstars who we think can offer us the success we want now. I also believe this strategy of finding the rockstar youth worker is flawed, because most of the time our strategy goes no further than “How is He/she on stage?” And even if we find someone we think is a rockstar, we set that person up for failure.
I believe Jesus chose the twelve disciples because He valued something greater than a rockstar status. I believe Jesus valued the potential He saw in people over the gifts people possessed. Jesus saw that the disciples had the potential to love Him more than their own lives. I believe He saw that they had the potential to love others the way He commanded us to love others. I believe He saw that they had the potential to care more about their integrity, and character than pleasing people. I believe He saw that they had the potential to not just preach the gospel, but live it.
So don’t devalue the process of investing in game changing potential. Jesus did it and look what good it did us, so what can it do for your ministry?
P.S. rockstar youth pastors don’t exist, we all need to be invested in.
Hope it helps,