Blog/CYM Blog

Unfinished

God isn’t finished.

For the times that we look in the mirror and think, “That’s it – I’ve gone too far, messed up too much, and I’m way too broken,” God responds, “I’m not finished with you.”

In the moments we believe we’ve done all we can in ministry, that we’ve reach all the teens, are tired of the dynamics of our parish staff, and feel that we have hit our limits, God looks at our ministries and says, “I’m not finished.”

When our world seems callous and broken. When we seem to, as Catholics, be more on the outside of cultural values and norms. When we start to feel like the Gospel may not even be received by a world that is too sinful, too prideful, too far…God looks at our world and says, “I’m not finished.”

God is doing big things. The Holy Spirit doesn’t take seasons off or rest. The work of the Spirit is ongoing and continuous. Our God is a relentless pursuer of souls and does not stop. He is not finished moving in the lives of the teens in your community or in the ways your ministry is called to change and grow. He isn’t finished working in your heart to continually conform it to His Most Sacred Heart. He isn’t finished in the world and how He continues to call all people to new life – abundant life.

At Life Teen, we never consider our work “finished,” because God’s work continues and the mission to lead teenagers closer to Christ isn’t over until the day Christ returns. Our world, our work, and our own walk of faith remains “unfinished.” In 2017, we are going to embrace this reality with our new annual theme, “Unfinished.” We are going to embrace the “work-in-progress” that we are, because we know, in Christ, where we are going. We will break open this theme at all of our camps, conferences, and trainings in the coming year.

We strive toward the great finish line of heaven. Discipleship and ministry are not a test of speed but of endurance. We pick up a torch that was passed onto us by thousands of men and women who died as martyrs, who are revered as saints, and many whose names we may never know this side of heaven, but whose refusal to quit, slow down or give up changed their world.

And we get to be a part of that. We are a part of the work the Holy Spirit is doing in our world. We strive and we run – hoping to endure until the end. We carry the torch so that others may follow that great light to salvation. And we hope. We hope that when we take our final breath we may echo the words of St. Paul to his beloved disciple, Timothy:

“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” -2 Timothy 4:7

Let us run well, friends. God isn’t finished with us, yet.

Watch the Theme Reveal Webinar

About the Author

Joel Stepanek

I spent most of my 8th grade year in detention because there wasn’t a dare I wouldn’t accept. But in high school, my youth minister dared me to follow Christ and I haven’t looked back. I love all things Wisconsin, especially the Green Bay Packers. I can probably eat more cheese than you. (Please don’t dare me to prove it.) Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @LT_Jstepanek.