I have never run a marathon–nor at this age, do I ever plan to–but I have heard from others that setting the right pace is key. It’s not a quick sprint in which you expend all your reserves in a mere minute or two. There is no quick and easy path to the finish line. You must keep your eye on the prize and keep moving with a steady, disciplined pace.
This is a helpful illustration for children’s and youth ministry workers and parents. Especially for the many of us who have recently returned from our national conference in Indianapolis. The topic, “Persevering in the Whole Counsel of God: What’s at Stake for the Next Generation,” was a weighty one. Speaker after speaker encouraged and exhorted us to rise to the challenge. In some ways, those three days felt like running a race–overwhelming and tiring! But the real race has just begun in our homes and churches. If we are to finish this race well, we need to set about it with a long-term perspective…a marathon perspective and not a sprint perspective.
Over at The Christward Collective, Nick Batzig has posted a helpful article titled, “A Marathon Mentality for Ministry”. Although written specifically for pastors, his main points are applicable to parents and other ministry workers as well. Here are the five things he highlights in his article:
1. Learn to be content. 2. Learn to sit at the feet of Jesus. 3. Learn to diligently seek the Lord in prayer. 4. Learn biblical measurements of faithfulness and fruitfulness. 5. Learn to persevere with diligence and zeal.
I highly recommend reading the entire article. It’s short but extremely encouraging!