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Position Yourself for Kingdom-style Advancement

by Jeanne Mayo
Ever feel frustrated that new opportunities pass you by—or never even become available? Here’s some advice I recently shared with a youth leader who was in that boat. Follow it to position yourself for advancement in God’s kingdom:1. Find some roomy luggage and crawl in. Right after appointing Saul king, Samuel wanted all the tribes of Israel to march before Saul—kind of like an inaugural parade. Problem was, no one could find the new monarch! Finally he was discovered hiding in some luggage. At this point in Saul’s career, he apparently didn’t seek out the spotlight; in fact, he purposefully avoided it. First Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time” (NASB). Jesus wants to promote you; he just doesn’t want you to promote you!

2. Keep the surrounding toilets clean. You guessed it: It’s important to be faithful in the little, unglamorous things. Jesus doesn’t want to advance you to fifth grade before you’ve genuinely passed the fourth. He’s pretty candid: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10, NIV). I often secretly shake my head when a youth leader talks about wanting to run a large ministry. If you aren’t faithful with a ministry of 10 teenagers, how do you expect the Lord to entrust you with a ministry of 100?

3. No matter how busy your schedule, plan regular “Arabia’s.” Right after the Apostle Paul was tagged by Jesus on the road to Damascus, he went alone with the Lord to Arabia. Galatians 1:16-17 chronicles this important choice. So when I get away from life’s normal routine to seek the Lord for myself, I call that an Arabia. Sometimes it’s only for an hour. Other times it stretches to several days. My role in the kingdom isn’t nearly as important as personal closeness with the Boss himself. Churches today seem to consider talent to be an amazing substitute for genuine anointing. But if you’re interested in kingdom-style advancement, Jesus still prioritizes character over charisma.

This isn’t exactly Fortune 500 advice. But then again, Christ didn’t seem too impressed by the big-money guys anyway. Last time I checked, he pushed over their tables as he left the temple.

Jeanne puts the “vet” in “veteran youth pastor.” She founded, and she’s author of Thriving Youth Groups. She lives in Georgia.

Jeanne’s FAVORITES: 
Fall Activity: Sitting in the student section of high school football games, yelling and sipping hot chocolate
Repeat Read: The ONE Thing, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
Quote: “Focus on a discipline long enough and it becomes a desire. Focus on a desire long enough and it becomes a delight. Focus on a delight long enough and it becomes
a destiny.”

This article was originally published in the September/October 2014 issue of Group Magazine.

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Position Yourself for Kingdom-style A...

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