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Out-of-This-World Endurance

“I’m not gonna die here.”

Sometimes we just have to say that out loud.

Matt Damon’s character in The Martian declared it in a key moment early on in the movie. How many things in ministry require such a declaration?

Fundraising? Church politics? Investing into students?

Cleaning a stain out of the church carpet before anyone else sees it?

Staying Jesus-centered in the midst of all of it?

I wish I could impart some sort of motivation or encouragement into you right now. Maybe I need a word of encouragement from you. Maybe you need one from me.

Maybe we need to take a lesson from The Martian here.

“I’m not gonna die here.”

Go on… say it with me.

Because as evidenced in that movie and in so many other arenas in life, you may not be feeling swallowed up because of a lack of resources.

You may be feeling swallowed up because of a lack of resourcefulness.

We’ve all been there.

“The only people who think it’s easy are those born on third base who think they’ve hit a home run.” – Dr. Gordon A. McDonald

“You don’t determine greatness by talent, wealth, or education. You determine it by what it takes to make a person quit.” – Jerry Falwell

“Blame is the most effective change avoidance strategy.” – Andy Stanley

I know you’ve been tempted to just read these words. Say them out loud. Come on, now.

“I’m not gonna die here.”

It could be that there is something practical you need to start doing:

  • Instead of relying on silver bullet ideas, maybe it’s time for a real strategy.
  • Instead of doing the same thing every year, maybe it’s time to do more productive things.
  • Instead of seeing discipline as your enemy, maybe it’s time to embrace it as doing what you don’t want to do in order to accomplish what you truly want.

You know this – in any given moment the eternity of a student, parent, or other random individual can change in a moment because of something we’re a part of.

And yet, it’s not all up to you. God is God and you’re not.

But it does involve you and your freewill just as much as it involves them and their freewill.

So take a look at what you are sweating over and say it:

“I’m not gonna die here.”

And then… take a look at the cross. Stare into the eyes of Jesus. Remember his invitation to deny yourself, take up your own cross, and follow him.

“Instead… I’m gonna die there.”

Do what you’re doing for him, through him, and to him. That’s what produces endurance that’s out of this world.

  • Christ: Spend some time enjoying Jesus. You can’t impress him. Instead, let him impress his Life into you.
  • Character: Invite the Spirit to work at growing an aspect of your personality.
  • Church: Remember all those great theological truths about God loving people who are messed up? Practice that by loving your church that way.
  • Calling: Hang out with some other people who are doing what you’re doing with students. (And if you haven’t yet signed up for a YMLT event, that’s the perfect place to start)
  • Christ (again): Once you’re back on track, take someone else along for the ride through these steps.

So fundraise away. Find a pathway through the politics. Invest well into students.

Keep scrubbing that stain. We won’t tell anyone.

You’re in leadership not because you won’t see the gap between here and there, but because someone like you needs to see it and keep pressing on toward what matters most.

Remember in the darkness what God told you in the light.

Remember in the light what God told you in the darkness.

I’m open to your words of counsel, too. Share some with me if you don’t mind.

– Tony / @tonymyles

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Out-of-This-World Endurance

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