Amy Dolan introduced Conspire’s final session with Johnny Rogers and Tammy Melchien as a gift for those in attendance.  For seventy-five minutes, Johnny and Tammy would address personal faith and its affect on ministry.

Johnny Rogers started with the moving story of Charles Houston and his journey to conquer K2.  This journey of survival required more than just skill, character, and unrelenting commitment to each other.  With the summit in sight one of the men suffered a blood clot, the climb was over.  The months of effort and the weeks of effort were gone.  In an instant, everything had changed but the choice was clear: no one would be left behind.  The journey back down to base camp was brutal.  Pete Schoening, the youngest member of the crew, had to hold the weight of six men at one point for five whole minutes.  The rope stretched, muscles grew tired, but the anchor held.

Many times children’s and family ministry leaders have to bear the weight of the ministry they lead.  There is great tension because we really do not know how the lives of the kids in our context will turn out.  Paul encourages us, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”  In other words, “Clip on to my rope, the anchor will hold.”

Tammy Melchien continued the talk with encouragement for climbing ministry mountains.  We know the mountains.  So many times on Sunday morning, moments before service is about to begin, the cell phone rings and we know it’s not a person calling to volunteer.  Other times ministry can be tiring.  How do we keep climbing?  What enables us to go further up the mountain?

The most important ministry factor is your personal connection to God.  This connection is vital because it is what your kids, volunteers, and parents need most from you and it is far more important than your budget, knowledge, ability, or creativity and without it you and the ministry you lead will never reach your full potential.  In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.”

There is a reality in ministry that it will always be difficult.  Volunteers will always be in high demand.  The sound system will always crash right before large group.  Three year olds will always have a hard time sitting still.  Ministry will not get easy.  But what can draw us into God in such a way that the burden can become light and easy as Jesus promises in Matthew 11?

Spiritual disciplines are the key to connecting with God.  Reading, experiencing nature, fasting, prayer, worship, service – these are the disciplines that we need to develop to the point where if we miss a day, we feel like we have missed God.  Self-care is a critical part of our spiritual journey.  We need to make time for relationships that let us breathe.

The journey of ministry is one that will require every one of us to stay connected to God in such a way that our hearts are close to Him and our energy is pursuing His majesty and our mind is fixed on His glory.

Who is “clipped in” to your line?  How can you encourage kids to clip in to your line and follow you as you follow Christ?
What does your connection to God look like right now?
Are you taking care of yourself?  Do you have spaces where you can enjoy life?
What are the key connectors between you and God?
How will you ask these kinds of questions to your staff and volunteers, to insure that they are pursuing a deep connectedness with God?