Ministry, especially youth ministry, was never intended to be a service profession. Ministry is the grateful response of God’s people, whose activity in the world and with one another suggests a new way of being alive. Ministry is not something we “do” to someone else. It is a holy way of living toward God and toward one another. Somehow in the din of modernity, this distinctive way of life—sometimes called “the sanctified life,” “Christian perfection,” or “holiness,” depending upon your theological perspective—got lost along the way. We traded holiness for effectiveness, charisms for careers, soulfulness for savvy. In the meantime, young people got lost or abandoned. So did many adults.
—Kenda Creasy Dean, Ron Foster, & Megan Dewald, The Godbearing Life, Revised Edition (Upper Room Books, 2023)
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[Jesus] has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
—2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV)
Prayer for the Week
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
—A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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