Are You a Big Deal?



By Jeff Lowry

Have you seen the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens? If you haven’t, then don’t worry; this won’t spoil anything, I promise. There is this scene where Finn (played by John Boyega) is talking with Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford). Finn says, “I’m a big deal in the resistance.” After that line Han refers to Finn as “Big Deal” several times.

I think we as youth pastors, ministers, and volunteers can learn a ton from that one little scene and the other mentions that follow. Why? Because we tend to think we are a Big Deal. Having been in youth ministry for close to 25 years, I’ve had occasion to interact with all sorts. From the meek, humble and completely lost volunteer who was thrust into the role out of need, to the so-full-of-himself headstrong Big Deal, and everything in between.

In Matthew 23:12 Jesus, talking to the Scribes and Pharisees, said these words, “If you think you are a Big Deal, you’ll be humbled, but if you humble yourself, you’ll be made a Big Deal” (That’s my paraphrase, of course.) Somehow we tend to miss that, or even worse, teach it in a youth service but don’t believe it applies to us! (True confession: I’ve been guilty of this type of thing on numerous occasions.)

The issue is really this: because our teenagers love us, because our youth parents love us, because camp directors love us, we think we can walk on water. And maybe you can. I can’t, but I found it so easy over the years to think about what a Big Deal I was. Reflecting back over my 25 years, I realize now that more than anything I was a Pied Piper. I played the songs, knew the lingo and was a fun guy, all the while frequently relishing in my status as a Big Deal.

Now comes the ‘so what?’ What am I suggesting? Simply this: Our true identity is not in our status as a youth worker, especially if we think we are a Big Deal. Our true identity lies in the simple fact that we are a child of God. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s called us all to do amazing things, gifted us in various areas and given us killer skills that are mind-blowing to some folks. He’s called many of us to be youth workers, and that is no easy calling by any means. But in the end, we are all just sons and daughters of the King. And here’s the thing; when you are focused on being a big deal, that becomes all you know, who you are, and your worth. When it’s gone, whether from God moving us, our own ministry choices or simply stepping down, we suddenly find ourselves confused and questioning so many things.

Don’t get caught up in the thought that you are a Big Deal. Just be you. Just be a child of the King. Just do what God has called you to do. Work with youth. Lead the choir. Clean the toilets. Work in the nursery. Preach the gospel. Do all those things humbly. Allow God to make you the Big Deal you are, but stay humble in that. You’ll be glad you did.