Anxiety or Love: How is Your Ministry?

I am working my way through the book Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Mark Yaconelli. On the jacket is written a telling paragraph, “As youth workers, we get caught up in programs, curriculum, events, and trying to engage and minister to students. But the result is too often needless anxiety, escalating work hours, and blurred boundaries—all while our students remain unchanged and uninterested.”

The book calls for being, living, existing with Jesus and His love. It has been encouraging, convicting, and inspirational. However, one particularly important aspect of the book is found on page 98. He goes through and compares anxiety with love. I wanted to share this with you so that you too may find encouragement and strength to continue to press on in the ministry God has given you.

The following is from the book, pages 79-80.

Anxiety seeks control. Love seeks contemplation.

Anxiety seeks professionals. Love seeks processes.

Anxiety seeks products. Love desires presence.

Anxiety lifts up gurus. Love relies on guides.

Anxiety rests in results. Love rests in relationships.

Anxiety seeks conformity. Love brings out creativity.

Anxiety wants activity. Love brings awareness.

Anxiety seeks answers. Love seeks questions.

Now, there was much written prior to this and after as well. So context is key. Instead of being busy, we need to simply be still (Psalm 46.10). So, are we being still? Are we worried, or trusting? Are we filled with unrest, or are we simply loving? This is a good challenge, and one that I will ponder over the rest of my life.

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