We have a wrong view of ministry!
It’s not the role that is played by someone who responds to a call from God to lead a congregation. Rather, we are each called to a role of ministry where we can affect the lives of others. And this role of ministry is not always the spiritual thing we assume it must be, rather to reach and touch people in their immediate needs.
While traveling for a medical need of a family member, I have spent a lot of time sitting, waiting and watching. A desperate need to get my haircut forced me to go to the chain store I use back home in a Mall close to the hotel. Arriving early, I watched the Mall Walkers and Workers busy about their morning routine. Eavesdropping on conversations, I heard a lot of interesting complaining about politics, health, money, and personal struggles.
Then, time spent in the doctors office and at the hospital – what do I get? A lot of the same things happening.
While grabbing a quick, cold, lunch, we watched a group of kids with an escort walking through the dining room stopping at tables, and giving a nicely decorated bag of cookies. Along with a speech that goes something like this:
We are from St. Mark’s Catholic Church Vacation Bible School. We are hoping to be a blessing to you while you deal with the medical issue that brings you here today. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we hope all news is good news.
Kids! Not trying to preach, convict, or coheres! Simply giving out of something that was part of their VBS summer program. I’ve seen water being handed out in the past. Chick-Fil-A opened on a closed day and fed many after the Orlando shooting just 10 days ago. It did not make any national news, but that’s not the reason for doing something extra.
In reality, these are all acts of ministry. Service. Without experiencing anything in response.
So, this morning I started thinking about all those who have come to me over the years wanting to have a role of ministry in their life. Often they hope for a position in the church, or an opportunity to practice their preaching and teaching. Instead of going where needs can be met outside of the church building, they only think inside the box. Those fields are white and ready to be harvested! (John 4:35)
This is so unlike the ministry of Jesus. Some think all we need to do is feed the hungry, so let’s get a food bank. Or teach special sessions on finance. But so few think about their personal act of ministry in every corner of life they walk, and each of us have a unique place of living where we can minister as we go about our lives.
Like sitting in the Mall. Every morning, Mall Walkers have a regular habit of strolling, power walking, or sitting and talking over a cup of coffee. So many, with so many needs. On this hot and muggy day a bottle of ice cold water would sure be a nice thing to consider.
Or sitting in the hospital. People experience the suffering that happens like the Code Blue called while we were awaiting our turn for a procedure. In fact, people crowding together, tears flowing, and second guessing with a lot of “what if’s”… Perhaps a simple offer of prayer or condolences with kind words would be a great opportunity to reach into their moments of desperation.
Jesus teaches that even a simple cup of water goes a long way.
And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42 NKJV)
There is a reward from sharing what you have to share… Now… Go do it!