As a kid, I loved anything to do with space. I begged every year for my parents to send me Space Camp (to no avail). I dreamed of getting strapped into a shuttle and being launched out of the atmosphere. A few years back a friend of mine was able to get us a behind the scenes tour of NASA. We saw moon rocks, the original mission control from the Apollo missions, and the giant training facilities. What struck me about the whole tour was the immense infrastructure it takes to send a few men and women into space. Relatively speaking, a small fraction of people involved in space exploration actually get to feel the freedom of weightlessness. Most people spend their lives on the ground, preparing others for the launch.

The longer I am in student ministry the more I realize that part of my job is to launch other people. Sometimes that means launching others into more glamorous and prestigious ministries. If I don’t take the right perspective, I can get jealous about others success. But, when I cherish my role as a “Launcher” I can celebrate those who reach higher heights than me. What makes a successful “Launcher”?

  1. A Successful Launcher spends time equipping others with their knowledge and wisdom. When you give yourself away to others you teach them what you’ve learned. Your mistakes and success stories become fodder for their growth and empowerment.
  2. A Successful Launcher knows when to share the limelight. It’s easy to savor the credit when a ministry is going well. But when you give other people their share of the credit, you allow others to see a fuller expression of the body of Christ. It may mean you won’t get as much recognition, but it will give those around you encouragement to remain faithful.
  3. A Successful Launcher finds joy in others’ success. Instead of getting jealous when the success of others seems to surpass yours, rejoice that the kingdom of God is expanding. When you launch others you will see the reach of your ministry grow wider and wider. Find joy in the fact that God is using you to further the reach of the Gospel.

Ask yourself, “Who am I preparing to launch?” Is it that student who has a raw untapped potential? Is it that volunteer who doesn’t know how much impact they really have? Is it the intern who needs to experience what it’s like to lead? Find those people who need your help to help and launch them. As you watch them soar, you’ll thank God that you were there on the launching pad.

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