Whatever ministry you find yourself in (children, youth, college, adult, family, senior, etc.) the principle will stay the same: the greatest gift you can give to others is your own personal holiness. Though having a gifted programmer, a charismatic teacher, or a diligent worker will benefit students in your ministry, what they need most is for you to love Christ more than anything and live happily under His joyful authority.
Students see lots of gifted people in the world, but not many holy ones. Gifting may amaze and entertain students toward a crowd, but holiness will attract them to Christ.
What Your Students Need
Though Pastor Jason Helopoulos‘ encouragement is specifically worded to pastors, it applies to anyone engaged in Christian ministry.
A pastor who continually seeks after Christ and grows in holiness pursues the most important thing for his own soul and also for those under his care. They need a pastor who loves and is growing in the Lord to lead them to love and grow.
We cannot lead where we have not tread.
We cannot give what we do not have.
We cannot teach what we do not know.
We cannot set an example when we are not passionately seeking the Lord ourselves.
Where our affections have grown cold, the church will suffer. When our confidence in the Lord is low, the church will feel the effect. The church requires, by God’s design, pastors who are holiness-seeking, faith-building, gospel-preaching, love-motivated, grace-imbibed, affection-stirred leaders of God’s people. Men who have a solid grip of the Great Shepherd’s belt (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Phil. 3:8-11), know His grace, and live in His truth are the men who we need in our pulpits. This precept cannot be overemphasized and must not be minimized (Taken from The New Pastor’s Handbook, p. 77).
Reverse the Trend
The church has no shortage of Christian leaders who stir up scandal because of their sin. May God raise up many who reverse the trend and love their families, their churches, and their neighbors with holy Christ-like character.
May we all shine like lights on a hill.