The one problem I have with calling ministers as such is that it seems to give people the impression that only ministers do ministry.
The one problem I have with church work and “corporate ministry” (as I loosely coin it), is that it seems to give people the impression that those are the only ways to do ministry and that in order to serve God, you must do ministry that way.
I’ll be real; there are the Joyce Meyers’, Tim Kellers, Jeff Bethkes, Beth Moores, etc etc. And I know and believe that there should be – we have people within the body who are teachers and shepherds, and they’re so anointed at what they do, they almost become like giants and they get a little bit famous for what they do. And that’s cool. I like that people with great wisdom have high platforms as long as they’re still humble enough to know that no matter how high they get on that platform, they are no taller than any of us, and by no means “holier than thou.” (which most of the examples I think are *safe*).
However, on the flip side of that, there are hundreds of people who work behind these people, beneath this people, and around these people to make these ministries happen. And I don’t just mean their staff and volunteers. I literally mean down to the people who pray for them to reach people and to have successful and effective ministries.
Francis Chan wrote in his book, Multiply that though we are sent to the ends of the earth to spread the Gospel, we’re not all required to pack up and head to third world countries. But we are told to support those who are, either financially and/or in prayer. We can give donations to mission and dedicate time in prayer over those who are spreading the Word of God in other countries.
Realistically, think about it… If every one of us Christians packed up and headed to India, China, Palestine, Africa, etc, who would be here to share with the American people (who are as broken and lost as any pagan tribe) the Good News? There are fronts everywhere in the war on darkness, both foreign and domestic. There simply is no way God wants us all in one place or to evacuate a place either. The American people are just as much God’s lost children as the African people, Muslim people, and Indian, Chinese, etc, etc, etc. Everyone on this planet was created by and is deeply loved by our God. Some of us have to be here. The “ends of the earth” definitely includes the end that you already live in.
And maybe you don’t struggle with this at all. Maybe you know where you’re God wants you and you love it, but… if you want to be anointed like that of the aforementioned giants and are still standing at your kitchen sink, or if you have followed Jesus away from all you know and wish you could have stayed, I encourage you to read Hosea 3 very carefully.
Hosea was a prophet that was directed by God to marry a prostitute who left him numerous times, bore him children that may or may not have been his, and committed countless acts of adultery against their marriage. But Hosea was faithful to God’s command to marry her.
Hosea 3:1, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
You might be asking, ‘Sam, what do raisin cakes have to with my purpose in life?’ but my point is this. After this charge from God, Hosea went and bought his own wife back after she had sold herself into prostitution for probably pagan worship, and he loved her like we are loved by Jesus. He maybe didn’t want to and I imagine that it was difficult. But that was his portion and he was faithful to what God asked of him.
Are you this faithful to what God has asked of you?
Your ministry may be India, may be Africa… But your ministry may also be your work place, your family and unsaved relatives; the people who live on your block, women’s ministry, children at church, whatever; with ministry, the possibilities are endless because ministry wasn’t desinged to be a job title, was designed to be everything we do.
You don’t have to be in the spotlight or have a well known name to be an effective weapon of the Holy Spirit, carrying the name of Jesus into the darkest of places. You don’t have to sell all you own, resolve to martyrdom, or even take a single missions trip anywhere. You need to love people and share what you have: Jesus Christ.
“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”” Acts 3:6
Ministry is for each and every one of us; it is the primary commission to every other purpose we were designed for, even labeled in the Bible as The Great Commission. Ministry might be your job, but it shouldn’t be just your job. It is your lifestyle. It is at your secular workplace with you, at home with your husband/wife/kids, in bed at night, in the car, in the grocery store… It should be as breathing in your life.
And while that sounds surmounting, I don’t mean you have to evangelize and pray demons out of people at Kroger. Maybe you do, but what I mean is do your ministry by doing what you were designed to do, ultimately, which is REFLECT WHO GOD IS, and God is love. Share love, spread love.
Love God, love people, and love yourself and the place He has you in. And let your good deeds, everywhere you are, point to Him.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16