This is my calling...the Shepherd these teens. Not only am I called to assist them during these tough life challenges, but most importantly, I am called to direct them to The Father. I am called to bring forth Christ. I am called to lead them in Spiritual Formation, self understanding and a deeper understanding of God and His Word.
Here's what I've learned and will never let go of: I can only lead them as far as I have gone myself.
A Shepherd is foolish to take a flock down a hill, road or path that he himself has not yet traveled. He doesn't know the way. He doesn't know the terrain. He doesn't even know if there are dangers ahead.
I need to constantly follow God down new paths. Pave new avenues so I can grow in MY understanding of God, so in turn I can be used by the Holy Spirit to guide people closer to the Father. If I read the same devotional book again and again for years and NEVER venture to something new, fresh and anointed...I will not be doing myself, or my flock justice. Can I continue to read the same thing? Yes...but not to the detriment of reading, or experiencing new things.
I'm learning to go DEEPER with the Lord. I'm learning to dig into Scripture in places I've never dug. I'm understanding that this is most importantly for myself and God to connect closer, but also so I can lead these teens who have so much baggage down a deeper road with the Lord.
A shepherd can only lead their flock down roads they've already tread and no further. If I desire or expect my teens to grow...I should be growing too!