There are so many people that need help. I have got to get out and get more volunteers.
We have got to do more, Marcy. We have to get the word out and get more volunteers, donations, and clients.
Our banner read:
Serve Christ Here!
Help Men & Women in the Community
I gave my life to helping build a nonprofit for seven years. I dedicated my time to building the budget, volunteer base, and number of clients we served. I am proud of the work that we did, and believe that God was pleased with my work.
Yet, being outside of the para-church/full time ministry world has shown me some things.
- If all God’s people served Christ where they are we might not need nonprofits. Please know I say this with all humbleness. I loved leading a para-church ministry. I loved it with all that I am. I believe that these ministries have their place in the world, but I believe that God’s people can make an even greater impact if they ministered to people in their own lives.
- To reach more we need to equip more. We should have spent more time equipping others to provide practical help, spiritual guidance, counsel, and support. We should have been as concerned about equipping the community to serve the community as we were with getting volunteers to serve our clients. That is where the opportunity for increasing the number we reached was.
- If we are one with Christ, we can serve Him anywhere. Picture for a moment Jesus Christ. Take a deep breath and try to imagine His sweet and gentle spirit. Jesus ministry was simple. Let’s walk around and tell people about Me and what I have come to do. Along the way we will meet some practical needs. We will confront people, love people, share truth, and equip others to do the same. Now where do we send the Jesus Ministry donation? What was His mailing address? I mean how did His ministry even thrive without a website?
I believe that we can use the example of Jesus ministry in our daily lives to love our neighbor, and love God with all our heart and soul. I believe that we can serve people at work, at church, in our homes, and in our community. Jesus didn’t segregate His ministry between church and personal life. He was in full time ministry because He ministered to people in all of His life.
Ministry of Vocation
When we sought to help people in the community we met them at their point of need. We assessed their situation and determined what help they needed at that point in their life. We would provide them with referrals, practical support, counsel, mentoring, and pray with them. Our goal was to meet their practical needs, and share Christ in Word and in deed.
As I sit in my office at work I am aware that I cannot share the gospel. At least if I want to keep my job I can’t, but that does not mean I can’t minister as Jesus did. You see we never got the chance to share the gospel with clients until we connected with them. We had to take the time to get into people’s lives. Connecting with them when they had a practical need was an entry point for ministry.
Ministry was meant to be a life style. It’s not a once a week occurrence. Something is wrong if we only help others once a week at church, or when we volunteer at a local nonprofit. We are meant to be beacons of light and hope at all times.
I spend 40 hours a week with four women and a man in my office. I encounter and have working relationships with many more people. In one week I could connect with dozens of people and develop intentional relationships with them. Think of the opportunity there is if all Christians were to consider themselves in full time ministry at work. It could change everything.
“I do not think evangelicalism has maintained a proper sense of vocation as calling. In fact, I think we evangelicals today are generally bereft of any notion whatsoever of this concept. We are with respect to our economic lives, in a phrase, practically or functionally atheistic. To be sure, there have been exceptions during the past two centuries. But the “intrinsic secularity of modern economic life” (as Craig Gay calls it), provides an atheistic cage (of dehumanization and the like) that we have willingly entered and that we can just as willingly leave. “
Serve Christ Here!
Our first priority should be our relationship with God.
Our main ministry is to our spouse, and family.
We should be active in serving the church, and participate in discipleship opportunities.
If we work, we should consider our vocation as a calling, and realize that we are in full time ministry. The “world” isn’t out there somewhere. It’s in the next office, cubicle, hallway, lunch room and smoke shack. It’s right next to you. You have the opportunity to make an amazing impact.
The church of old understood that vocation was a calling and ministry. Ministry encompasses all of life, not a portion. We don’t shut off our faith when we leave church. We follow Jesus example and seek to love and serve others throughout all of our life, including work. Let’s get to work. The world needs it.