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Jumping Off The Wheel

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by CAR0LYN)

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Robin Dugall via his blog. I first heard about him from his son Aaron who was an intern in student ministries a few years ago at Redwood and Nathan Barnes who was the Student Ministries Pastor at the time (now he’s the Redwood Campus Pastor at our Barrie Campus). Hopefully, I’ll get to meet Robin in person sometime.

A few weeks ago, Robin posted this about where we find our value as ministers. I thought I’d share it with the Elemental Children’s Ministry community. Go ahead and hop on over to read it… feel free to even leave a comment or two! Then you can come back and read my thoughts.

This post really stood out to me because I, too, dealt with the pressure to be “successful” in ministry. For children’s ministry that meant being invited to speak at children’s ministry conferences as a workshop leader or general session speaker, writing your own curriculum (and publishing it!), doing leadership talks via CD or podcasting, rubbing shoulders with other CM celebrities, having an article published in Children’s Ministry Magazine (and now K!)… the list could go on.

It’s so easy to get caught up in that mentality. A wake up call hit CM a few years ago when one after another I got a phone call or email or something about a children’s pastor stepping down from their ministries for one reason or another mostly related to some sort of manifestation of burnout. The facade of success was peeled away to reveal human beings who had sacrificed themselves at the altar of celebrity and workaholicalism and numbers because it is what they thought God expected of them.

Now, I’m not faulting these men and woman who contributed much to the world of children’s ministry. What I am faulting is the culture we have built around church world that ministry success is working harder, writing more, speaking better, having larger numbers than “them.” We forget that God uses us as he pleases and loves us no matter what.

You are probably like me and strive to be the best at what you do and can easily get caught up in running that hamster wheel of success. It’s a daily giving up of myself to God and asking him to remove me from that directionless wheel so that I can focus on loving him and loving those around me.

  • What are your thoughts about Robin’s post?
  • How do you keep from getting caught in the trap of doing more?


4 Responses to “Jumping Off The Wheel”

  1. Andy Johnson June 8, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    Thanks for this post and reminder that celebrity status is not what ministry success is all about.

    What I came to realize through a book by Ken and Barbara Hughes is that success is ministry is judged by FAITHFULNESS. That book is called "Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome." I think it is a definite read for all in ministry.

  2. Henry Zonio June 8, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    thanks for the book recommendation

  3. Keith Tusing June 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Great statements about the danger of seeking "Celebrity Status" or CM community approval. We should alway remember the goal is to hear "well done my good and faithful servant" from our Heavenly Father…His is the only opinion that counts.

    • Henry Zonio June 10, 2009 at 1:20 am #

      AMEN! We need to focus on doing only what God wants us to do… that can be really hard.

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