Being a young adult is hard enough—trying to figure out who you are and what makes you click. But being a young adult in the ministry is even harder. All of a sudden, you aren’t free to make decisions carelessly without worrying about the aftermath. You are responsible for influencing the lives of peers and people in your church. Eyes are upon you as you play the piano, sing a solo, teach a Bible study, preach at youth service, or lead the choir. In a vital season of life, while you are trying to grow in your own walk with God, you are responsible for the lives of others as well.
It’s kind of like being an extension cord. One cord plugs into an outlet and allows multiple devices to gain power through its connection. It’s my last year of Bible college and I’ve found myself in charge of several areas of ministry. From a girl’s devotional group to vocal ensembles—to teaching choir songs—it can get overwhelming. You feel like you have so many ministries plugged into you, sometimes draining you of all your energy. If an extension cord becomes unplugged from the outlet, not only does it deprive itself of power, but it also cuts off the flow of power to all of the devices to which it is connected.
As a young minister, you have to constantly make sure you are plugged into the ultimate power source, which is Jesus. You can’t minister on your own without the anointing of someone far greater than yourself. By neglecting your personal prayer time, fasting, and Bible reading, you are not only cutting yourself off from anointing and power, but you are also draining the power flow to all of the areas of ministry that you are heading up. You wonder why nothing seems to be flowing well and why you feel frustrated so quickly? Could it be that you aren’t properly plugged in to God?
We hear about the basics constantly, but how many of us actually have a daily practice of making sure we are plugged in? It’s important for any Christian, but when you have others under your leadership and plugged into you, it’s vital. The Bible says, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2).
I’ll never forget when my father first sat me down when I was showing interest in being involved in leadership roles at my home church. “Shenae,” he said, “I want you to think about what you’re asking. Your life has to be an example to all of the young girls in our church and youth group, because if you make silly decisions as a leader, they most likely will too.”
What my father told me has stuck with me years later. It’s a lesson best learned now. It might mean you have to sacrifice being the cool, crazy young adult who’s the life of the party. Being plugged in means you’re somewhat limited to the type of lifestyle you can live. But it does mean you’ll always have power, and the ministries plugged into you will always be touched by the anointing flowing through you.
Some Practical Ways to Stay “Plugged In”
• Make sure you have a set amount of prayer time every day. It may only be 8 minutes long, but make sure you’re consistent with it.
• Grab a pal who will fast with you once a week! Having someone fasting with you will help you to stay faithful and accountable.
• Then there’s Bible reading. Don’t brush off the book just to construct a killer message. Read it every day for yourself! I’ve often tried to find devotional books, which include passages of scripture for me to read, but in context with a thought that’s part of the devotion for the day. It helps me to better understand the text.
• Get creative! There are so many fun apps and such that can help you put God first. You can now have the entire Bible on your phone so it’s with you 24/7.