As our family has transitioned to a new city and as we have prayed through what ministry will look like for us in this new season, I have tried to take time regularly to pray through things I’ve learned over the last few years. I have been blessed to work under strong men and women over the last decade+ who have taught me so much about how to minister to college students and how to cultivate a life giving ministry on a college campus. But one of the most valuable lessons I learned was this: I learned how to take out the trash.
It’s not something you put on your resume and we’ve laughed about the mental list we’ve accumulated over the years of all the non-glamorous parts of ministry and that’s just one of the many. You’ll never find an article published by Lifeway Young Adults called “10 ways to take out the trash” or read a book of a similar title. They didn’t cover it in any of my seminary classes and it’s not something that esteemed ministers ever mention as one of their greatest ministry accomplishments but it still has to be done. And it was never something that was taught but something that was constantly modeled day in and day out.
As I continue pursuing the ministry that the Lord has for me for many years to come until He calls me home, there are many ministry objectives that I want to keep at the forefront of my mind daily. I pray that students feel equipped to share the gospel. I pray they pursue what God has planned for their lives and not what the world tells them will bring the most security. I pray they are mobilized around the world to take the gospel to those who have not heard. I pray they learn to love/serve the local church. But I also pray they learn how to take out the trash.
We live in a self-absorbed culture where young and old adults alike are not geared to naturally do the things that are uncomfortable or undesirable. We like to take the job that will pay the most money so that we can buy nicer things. We like to do flashy things that are going to draw attention to ourselves or make for an aesthetically pleasing post with the perfect caption to make sure to trigger a dopamine hit of likes and comments on social media.
But Christ came humbly to seek and save the lost – born in a manger and died on a cross. And no matter where the Lord takes our family or what our earthly ministry looks like, I pray that I am surrounded by more and more leaders who are modeling what true servant leadership looks like. I am forever thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned from those I’ve been blessed to serve under over the years. But as we make this transition, I’m reminded that I’m most thankful that they taught me how to take out the trash.