Today, I finish my suggestions in response to some of the most common requests I get from seminarians. I pray these ideas have been helpful to you.
- “I’m struggling with ____________.” Many of these young people are quite willing to talk about their sin issues with someone they trust, but they still struggle.
- Decide if you’re committed enough to take drastic steps to overcome your battle, to figuratively “cut off your arm or gouge out your eyes” (Matt 5:28-29) to find victory.
- Talk with your pastor or another trusted church leader about your struggle. Keeping it in the darkness is no way to find victory.
- Daily ask God to bring you to the place where you genuinely hate your sin.
- If those who know you best encourage you to talk with a Christian counselor, be willing to do so.
- “Can you talk to me about how to shepherd my family?” Sometimes, this question ultimately gets to, “I really need to grow still as a husband. Help me know how to care for my wife like I should.”
- Read a resource on marriage like Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage, Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage, or Dennis and Barbara Rainey’s Moments Together for Couples.
- Find someone whose family life grabs your attention positively, and have a conversation with him. Ask him how he shepherds his family.
- Make sure that, at a minimum, you pray with your spouse and your children every day. Don’t assume that your kids outgrow this need.
- Consider using some of Tom Elliff’s questions for your spouse and for your children as a means to learn from them and guide them well.
- “What if I want to preach and teach, but the rest of ministry scares me?” Frankly, I understand this fear and want to help young leaders from my own experiences.
- Don’t be worried that you feel this way. At some level, ministry ought to bring some trepidation. You’re dealing with souls.
- Keep seeking a ministry mentor who will meet with you on a regular basis. Given our access to the internet, don’t assume that your mentor must live in your area.
- Get some training in the areas of ministry that most frighten you. I’d be happy to connect with you through this website if you want some seminary training.
- Just keep doing ministry. Sometimes, experience helps alleviate today’s fears.
What would you add to this list?