The Best Ministry Resource of All Time

A blog post by Adam Butler One of the best things we did in the Children, Youth, and Family program at Luther Seminary was what we called Tuesday Lunch. We had lunch together on Tuesdays, hence the creatively appropriate title. It was a time I looked forward to each week, and I think that was...

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Ministry Books A blog post by Adam Butler

One of the best things we did in the Children, Youth, and Family program at Luther Seminary was what we called Tuesday Lunch. We had lunch together on Tuesdays, hence the creatively appropriate title. It was a time I looked forward to each week, and I think that was the case for many of us in the program.

Each week would have a topic that we’d discuss, sharing our insights with the rest of the group. The topics were anything from sharing our favorite Autumn activities around the Twin Cities to having a fellow student come and talk about a trip they took to social media in youth ministry; we touched on just about everything.

One of my favorite weeks every year was when we’d share ministry resources with each other. Whether it was curriculum used for Confirmation, helpful books to read for folks working with young people, or a series of Bible Studies that connected with a particular group of youth, everyone brought something that had worked for them in their ministry. It was great because you got this free list of materials to give you ideas for what might work in your own setting. I still have the list from my first year in seminary. One of these days I’ll get around to doing more than just looking at it from time to time.

The list of resources was always great but that wasn’t the best part. The best part was seeing someone share their resource and how it worked in their particular context. You could just see the passion and the love they had for the ministry they were doing and the impact they were making on those with whom they were doing ministry. God was at work in them, and it was so clear in the sharing of their stories through whatever resource they were presenting.

I think we get lost in the physical resources sometimes. It’s either because there’s so darn many of them that it’s overwhelming to even decide what to try out, or something works really well a few times, and it becomes more about this spectacular curriculum or book and less about the ministry of which we are a part. The materials/resources become our crutch rather than the medium through which God meets us in our ministry.

Of course, resources are not just books and papers and curriculums. We have volunteers, mentors, and group leaders. Bakers, chefs, and professional lemonade mixers. We have time, talent, and treasures. We have pastors, youth directors, rostered, and lay ministers. These wonderful resources for ministry should never get lost in the mix.

However, we should never get so lost that we forget the greatest resource of all. “GOD!” and “JESUS!” scream all the little children. Yes, that is correct. That’s a good foundation from which to start. But the greatest resource we have at our disposal is that thing I could see in the eyes of my fellow students and ministers as they shared at lunch: the love, passion, and commitment we have to the work that we do in the name of Christ.

May God bless you in your work, may the light of Jesus Christ be present among all those with whom you gather. And may you continue utilizing the best resource you’ve been given: yourself.

Adam ButlerAuthor Bio:
Adam Butler is a recent graduate of the M.Div. program, with an emphasis in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry, at Luther Seminary. Throughout college and prior to beginning seminary, he worked in multiple youth and outdoor ministry settings. He is an avid sports fan, enthusiastic pontooner, a craft beer homebrewer/consumer, and patron of the arts. Currently, Adam serves as an Associate Pastor with emphasis in youth and family ministry at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.