Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How to Have a Ministry Outside of the Box

The complaint usually comes in one of two ways. Sometimes it's the plaintive sigh from the mom on the playground as she looks over at her children giggling on the swings. "I just don't have a ministry right now. My life is on hold until the kids get in school." Other times, it is the woman at church who gives the self-deprecating excuse, "I would love to minister for the Lord, but I don't have any talents."

There are a few things that we tend to forget about ministry:

1. A minister is a servant.  Glamorous? No. Eye-catching? Hardly. Being a minister is reaching down to the lowliest and asking, "How can I serve you today?" It is scrubbing dirty, tired feet. It is in the tedious details of service with the likelihood that few but the Master will ever notice.

2. Ministry is not about us.  In a day when pastors, singers, writers and Bible teachers are given celebrity status; it is easy to lose focus of what the purpose of ministry is. If a ministry does not point to Christ, giving Him every bit of the glory, it is just a sham. Also, if ministry begins to be more about "fans" than service to others, it has lost the very core of its definition.

3. The chief Example of ministry is Jesus. About 90% of Jesus' life was lived in obscurity. Other than his Birth and two childhood temple incidents, we know nothing of His life before His public ministry. When he did begin ministry, he primarily focused on 12 men. Much of the mere 3 years He spent ministering consisted of opposition from the church leaders of the day and their plot to kill Him. Even He, Creator of the universe, kept the focus off of Himself as He ministered to those around Him.

So, you are a woman who loves the Lord? Maybe you are a single woman living at home, a married woman or a mother. Maybe your children are all grown or you are raising them as a single mom. Whatever your circumstances, here are a few ways to recognize the ministry God has given you:

  • Determine your season of life. If you are a mom of small children, you are probably not supposed to head the women's ministry, the choir and the youth group at the same time. God has given these little ones to you for such a short time and they are your ministry! If you are a grandmother, you may have the time and experience to devote to more pursuits.
  • Inventory the gifts you already have.  Many times, if a woman isn't a born teacher or a natural singer, she feels she has little use in the church. Teaching and singing are just two of a myriad of ways one can minister for the Lord to others. Maybe you have a passion for baking. God may just call you to bake some cookies for a new neighbor or the older person at church. Or maybe you love to talk on the phone. You may be just the one to call those that weren't able to be in church due to illness and encourage them.
  • Remember that your ministry is unique. God calls each of us to different things because we are all different. I have a friend that does yard work for elderly people and those that cannot do it themselves. Another friend sends sweet notes of encouragement to those that are going through a rough time while holding them up to the Lord in prayer. Others minister by opening their homes in hospitality, their bank accounts to those with genuine need and their schedules to sit with a lonely person.
I'll never forget a story that a pastor told once about a person in his church who claimed she had no ministry. He told her to buy a bouquet of flowers and take it to the hospital and pass them out one at a time to the patients while telling them Jesus loved them. The lady took his advice and had a beautiful ministry for many years.

Who knows what God can do with us if we think outside the box of church walls to minister within the circle of our great globe filled with needy people? 

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post, this was well written and good advice. Love your blog.