NYWC: Lynne Hybels at Gen. Session 3

Lynne Hybels spoke this morning at the general session and told a very personal story about how she acted for years as if God daily "sucked the life out of his followers" by giving them heavy burdens of work and obedience, how she did ministry with her own soul on "empty" and finally, in her brokenness, met God who loves her and showed her the real way He called her to follow. She talked about the importance of knowing one's spiritual gifts and, in ministry, developing the ones we have and not worrying too much about the ones we don't. She reminded us not to fear because God is with us, and if we ask for guidance, He will give us the strength and resources to accomplish what He has set aside for us.

This is a message we desperately need to hear, because there are people in our ministries who are constantly on the move, who equate busyness with Godliness, who think if they take on enough, they won't notice how much energy they lack, and we look at the surface of them and think, "That's exactly the kind of volunteer I want to have!" And if we think that way, we are participating in a dangerous lie.

The kind of volunteer we should want to have-- and, for that matter, the kind of leader we should want to be-- is one with her soul in the right order. I want people who are comfortable saying "No," explaining that another commitment to the youth ministry would interfere with a spiritual practice she values and is fed by. I want someone who says "I need to pray about that."

And in order to become that kind of person, or recruit that kind of leader, we need to make our gatherings safe places to talk about souls. We need to ask soulful questions: "What are you hearing from God lately?" "What was the most challenging piece of Scripture you read lately?" "How are you?" I'll develop this idea more in the near future-- help me with ideas of what we can do!

Lynne's message was especially good to hear because it painted a picture of what a cry for help from someone who's deeply involved in God's life, but not being fed by it, looks like. I was disappointed by how many people slipped out early; I just hope they were the ones who already know how to give their volunteers Christ's light burden and easy yoke.

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