While attending a youth ministry trade school back in 1993, I received a couple of 3 ring binder notebooks. The training material for Tentmakers Youth Ministry was close to two thousand pages on content, taking seven weeks to complete. This intense active learning leadership course required my full attention, living out the principles I was being taught at my host family. Nightly assignments were designed to take you out of your comfort zone, forced to interact with strangers at church, local malls and neighborhoods to finetune your conversational skills. During this two month stretch, I was infused with enthusiasm, driven and encouraged by like minded classmates.
When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but [only] those who are sick, Matthew 9:11-12.
Today, when enthusiasm fades, joy disappears and my energy to do anything is gone, I retreat to find something meaningful in life. Recently, I came across a quote from this class. “The excitement of a group never exceeds that of its leader.” What this statement suggests is that leaders must learn to be self-sufficient, able to recharge their own excitement level. Although people within various groups may encourage and spur you on, leaders need a daily infusion of enthusiasm. Without this spiritual discipline, finding motivation to make it through each day, even leaders will lose their vigor for life.
Go and learn what this [Scripture] means: ‘I desire compassion [for those in distress], and not [animal] sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call [to repentance] the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to change], but sinners [those who recognize their sin and actively seek forgiveness],” Matthew 9:13.
Jesus addresses this issue during a first century conversation. Righteous zealots were concerned that Jesus and his disciples were compromising their faith by socializing with sinners. However, Jesus uses logic to show these Pharisees the error in their thinking. The healthy, individuals who have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus, have learned to be self-sufficient spiritually through a daily dose of prayer, reflection and worship. The sick, people who have lost their way, need Christians to leave their comfort zones to expand the body of Christ. Therefore, the more you experience an infusion of enthusiasm for the lost, God can use you to be a light in a dark world to turn to you for answers. May this blog inspire you to use your daily time with God, praying and reading the Bible as an infusion of enthusiasm.
by Jay Mankus