I do not regret for a single moment the years I spent as a youth minister. They were the most fulfilling years of my life, filled with a sense of being used for a greater purpose than earning a paycheck.
It was also a time of being exposed to some great people. For instance, when I heard Tim Hansel speak at a National Youth Leaders Conference, I was introduced to a great guy, who has written a few wonderful books, one of which is Holy Sweat. Tim's explanation of the title: "HOLY reminds us of our highest calling. SWEAT is what it takes to get there."
Here's a little taste of the gems included in this tome...
- I believe it is more important to live one word of Scripture than it is to memorize volumes. (From the chapter, "Turning Our Theology into Biology")
- We are, in a sense, walking Gospels as we re-present Christ to the world through our "fifth Gospel."
- The Bible does not give us much reason to believe that being saved is in any way to be equated with being safe. For instance, we often hear that Daniel's faith got him out of the lion's den, but we forget that it also got him into the lion's den.... God doesn't promise a carefree life; he promises peace and joy in the midst of the trouble (John 16:33).
- The greatest act of courage is the first step.
- It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than it is to think your way into a new way of acting.
- Stop worrying and start believing. You can't worry and praise God at the same time.
- I'd rather make my days count than simply count my days.
- We don't get a free detour around problems when we become a Christian; we get a guided tour through them.
- Which would you rather have - a Christian reputation or Jesus Christ?
- I believe the world gets to know what Jesus looks like by looking at us, God's people. So I say, let's give them a good look. Let's live a life so powerful, so unsettling, so wonderful, so joyous, so giving, that our lives wouldn't make a bit of sense if God didn't exist.
Truth is...sometimes cleaning off your shelf can be a glorious thing.
Next week: Hansel lays down some great quotes from others.