Alone | A Word That Halts Your Ministry
In 1968, the group Three Dog Night released the song, “One is the Loneliest Number.” You know the familiar lyrics – “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do, two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one.” This song may be about relationships, but being alone in any situation can lead to confusion, stress, impure or unsubstantiated thoughts, and feelings of depression. This isn’t to say that we have to always be around other people. It simply means that we need other people in our life in order to fulfill the purpose on our life as Youth Leaders.
The term self-made millionaire has been thrown around a lot over the years, but is that term rooted in reality? Thomas C. Corley spent five years researching the habits of 177 “self-made millionaires” and discovered that they all had “rich habits.” I want to highlight two of them. First, Corley noted that they hang out with other successful people. Corley writes, “You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with. The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook.” What other Youth Leaders do you have in your circle from whom you can observe and learn? Secondly, these self-made millionaires find and check in with mentors, help others succeed, and don’t follow the herd. Corley says: “You want to separate yourself from the herd, create your own herd, and then get others to join it.” I hope by now you see a trend. These supposed self-made millionaires are not at all self-made. They are formed through the relationships they build and maintain. Their wealth is forged through leveraging the intentional connections they have. They are not alone. They are able to fulfill their purpose in life because they have realized one very important truth – no one reaches their destiny without the help of others.
If you find yourself alone on a consistent basis, you may need to ask yourself why. Are you intentionally isolating yourself? Are you mean? Are you in prison? Okay, maybe that last one won’t apply but you get the idea. There are 7 billion people on the planet. There has to be someone or a group of someone’s who are like-minded with whom you can connect and begin to establish meaningful, youth focused, purpose-driven relationships.
I am in two life groups with a group of men that I trust completely. My mom always told me that if you can make it through this life with two or three people that you can truly call friend, consider yourself blessed. By the grace of God, I have that and much more and it is such a blessing. Additionally, my wife and I host a life group at our house every week. This was an intentional decision. At the end of the day, we are largely a result of the company we keep…or don’t keep.
Sometimes we feel like we’re alone until we step back and take a look at our lives from a different perspective. Social media is a talented liar. It can make other ministries appear to be glamorous and filled with young people basking in the love of Jesus. But to know those that post such images may leave you with a different perception.
In order to fulfill your assignment, you will need ideas that only others possess and skills that only others enjoy. Therefore, in order to complete your assignment you will need to have a mentality of “us” and not “me.” Ask yourself what can we do to fulfill this purpose, answer this call, or attend to this need? When we feel like we are doing it alone, it is often based on a perspective guided by emotions. However, facts aren’t concerned with your feelings. Did you really get this far in life, alone? Can your ministry honestly make it to the next phase of development, alone?
I was talking with a friend of mine who I noticed was becoming more and more successful in his ministry ventures. I said to him, “I’m trying to get where you are. How are you doing this?” Very simply, he responded, “I have a team.” And there it was. A truth so readily apparent that it was right in front of me yet I didn’t have the vision to see it. Immediately, I began praying for a team to help me accomplish and fulfill the purpose I have in life. That night I met someone who would become instrumental in helping me grow my ministry.
We were not designed to dwell in loneliness. We were not created to wallow in the misery of isolation. Personally, one of the worst places I can ever be is alone too long with my own thoughts. Maybe you can identify. If so, and if you understand the magnitude of your purpose and have a passion to see young lives changed, commit to engaging with others. Commit to never trying to do this alone ever again.
“I’m not alone now either. The world is all around me. People leave, but there are always more coming. The catch is that you have to open the door to let them in.” – Kathy McCullough
USED WITH PERMISSION FROM ALEX MCELROY
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.