Jesus is More Important Than Books

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It’s 2014, and I’ve recently taken over as the leader of Momentum, a young adults ministry in Highland Township, Mi. In order to lead this community well, I’ve been reading and studying a lot. The books I’ve read in the last two months include the following:

  • Start with Why
  • Deep and Wide
  • Made to Stick
  • Communicating for a Change
  • Tribes
  • Good to Great

These books are all very inspiring, informative and helpful for building strategy. However, I watched a documentary last night called, “Compelled by love” and it stirred me more than all of them. This movie is about Heidi Baker’s missionary journey in Mozambique. I’m not going to summarize any of these writings, but want to leave you with what stirred me.

These last few months, I’ve been trying to consume as much information of ministry possibilities as possible. Why? Because I want to know about all the available options for directions God can take Momentum. For example, if a person is trying to select a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins but does not know that Pistachio, as a flavor, even exists, he or she will not select that flavor. I am simply want to know about every effective flavor of ministry possible.

Books and research allow me to know what people have done before me so I can choose to go that route or not. I can learn from their mistakes, instead of my own.

This movie, though, highlighted the adventures of a few missionaries who simply went to countries with the goal of loving people like Jesus would. They didn’t have plans or strategies. They weren’t trying to operate as “Level 5 Leaders” or craft the perfect vision statement. Simply attempting to love God and people in a country not their own with a language they did not know. Somehow, despite having the perfect strategy, God moved in radical ways.

Radical obedience and compassion always trumps knowledge insight and strategy, it seems.

Whereas I believe in learning and growing, I am reminded that the Gospel is simple. Difficult, but simple. Strategies, philosophies and disciplines are everywhere, but as ministers, as lovers and followers of Jesus, we must not depend on secret knowledge that opens the door to better ministry. We must abide in the true vine Jesus and let life giving ministry flow from Him. We must depend on love.

Is Jesus still your primary ministry strategy?

Is Jesus still your first love? For me, sometimes I forget that “Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is waste.” I will continue to study to show myself approved, but my first focus is Jesus. Simply Jesus. 

Nothing I do without Him matters.