For the past eight years, I have been the associate pastor at my local church, but that all came to an end a month ago after I confessed my struggle with alcohol to the church’s elder board. Within a few days of my confession, I had officially resigned and, that Sunday, my resignation was announced to the church body.
The time leading up to my resignation was plagued by a series of starts and stops in regards to drinking. I knew when I drank, I drank too much, but my mind kept telling me each time I started drinking that this time it would be different. It never was. I could never drink just one night. I could never drink just one drink. When I drank, I always wanted more.
Throughout my addiction, I was largely alone for one simple reason:
I was afraid.
It’s an interesting time of year for me. Around this time of year, the teenagers in our youth ministry are trained on how to share the Gospel, and they are then sent out into our community to lead backyard Bible clubs. At our church, we allow 6th-12th graders to participate. At first, this might seem like a terrible idea. Middle schoolers have a long history of being immature and childlike while wanting more autonomy. High schoolers, likewise, are known for their bad attitudes and even worse decision making skills. Yet, every single summer, these students amaze me with their energy, passion, and ability. Some of the best gospel presentations I’ve ever seen have come from teenagers with virtually no experience speaking in front of a crowd.
While it’s so easy to come up with 1,000 reasons why any given high schooler will do a terrible job at presenting the Gospel, the reality is that they have incredible potential to do eternal things…and so do you!
You Have Incredible Potential…
With the risk of sounding too much like a motivational speaker, if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you have incredible potential!
We live in a world which bases value and worth on standards that are literally unachievable. When we think about our potential for achievement or beauty, we’re bombarded by magazine covers featuring photoshopped celebrities promising impossible results.
If you measure your potential based on the world’s expectations, you will likely find yourself discouraged. But, your potential was never meant to be judged based on comparisons and superficial standards.
You were fearfully and wonderfully made to be you, and here are three reasons you have incredible potential:
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
What do you do after the fall?
The last week of my life has been a bit of a whirlwind. My own choices have caused myself and those around me a large amount of pain and confusion. My own failings have reminded me of my own words. It’s interesting how so much of my preaching I’ve discovered is either preaching from my past self, to my present self, or to a future self.
So, I find myself now reflecting on my past teaching, and discovering all the clarity I wish I would have had on the front end.
Free eBook from Alan Hirsh, “Disciplism.” Download it HERE!
Here links to each of the sessions which I attended at The Gospel Coalition National Conference. I have likewise attached a link to my notes from each of the sessions.
John Piper – Jesus the Son of God, son of Mary
Colin Smith – Jesus Despised
How to Engage and Study Doctrine in the Local Church
With J. D. Greear, Justin Buzzard, Kevin DeYoung, and Michael Horton