Every ministry has them. The hungry ones. They are active in the church and invite all of their friends. They are influencers of the culture rather than influenced by it. They seem to enjoy your preaching. They are the ones you have on your mind for leadership. And then they move away.
Ryan is one of these guys. There have been quite a few actually in my short time in ministry but Ryan’s words of thanks have been a great encouragement to me. He felt like it was time for a relocation and I am praying that the new place will be forever changed by his gospel influence. His last note to me said this: “Also, man, thank you for always leading with humility and a love for the lost. That is your greatest gift don’t forget it! I never got the chance to tell you, but I appreciate, and respect you a whole lot sir. And learned a whole lot from you about Grace! Keep pressing to the goal!”
Even by sharing this note I am proving I am not as humble as he thinks but I think what he is saying – at least what I am hearing – is this; there is nothing special about you, but the message of grace is worthwhile, keep preaching that.
I am not a great preacher. There are those that are more engaging in a thousand other pulpits. I am not a great leader. There are those with the system and savvy that have me beat by miles. But I do have Jesus. And I can’t preach the truth of him any other way than I do. Grace is amazing, and that is not just a song.
Doing young adult ministry, it is a given that I am going to “lose” everyone I minister to. They all get older or move away for better opportunities or school. But the message of grace is never lost on them. May it be a place of rest and motivation long into their lives. Let them forget me but vigorously remember Jesus.
This is my prayer. I am thankful for the ones that get away.