I led a para-church ministry for seven years. There I found my passion and love for helping others. I became engrained in a world I had never known. The world of “ministry”. It’s a badge of honor to some people they waive for all to see because it has special meaning. I am in ministry.
I am not paid a lot, but do the work of ten people. I am not given any appreciation for what I do which is good because we wouldn’t want pride to set in. I am on call 24/7 and though I preach work/life balance I really don’t live it out. Why? Because I am in ministry. It special. It’s important and if you aren’t in it you can’t understand.
Sure I know you have a job, but I am in ministry. If you have never served God full time in a para-church ministry or church then you might have never been exposed to the ministry mindset. That could be a good thing. Don’t think for a moment though that we aren’t in ministry. We are in a living ministry.
John 14:31 “but He comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
About a month ago I took a position as a chaplain for a local business. It’s a part time position. It was an answer to a prayer that I started when I left the para-church organization I worked at. Lord, will I ever serve in ministry again? He must have smiled, laughed or shook His head. Oh Marcy, you have so much to learn.
I emailed a friend to thank them for the reference. They emailed back and congratulated me on being back in ministry. At that moment I knew that my idea of ministry was all wrong. Being in ministry is a way of life. Some do it in a formal setting and the rest of us do it as part of our lives whether we see it or not.
I left the nonprofit I managed for seven years because God made it clear that I was to help my husband accomplish our new life and career goals. I am no saint for doing this. I am just following God’s path for my life and ministering in the way He has chosen. I had been convinced that ministry only took place within formal settings. Sure people might help others, but it’s not real ministry.
John tells us something different. By showing others that we love the Father and do as He says we are in ministry. When we put off our way and put on God’s we are ministering to others. When we meet the physical and spiritual needs of others we are ministering to them. Ministry is what we do. For most of us it’s a living ministry.
I quit the job I loved, started a career transition, went back to school to start my MBA and am shifting my life to help my husband. How is that any different then the ministry I provided to women in our community? To them I gave resources, referrals, counsel, friendship and material aid. If anything I am ministering more now then I did then and to a person I am supposed to be one with.
If you apply your faith in your life to help others you are in living ministry. Ministry isn’t defined by a set of four walls, a salary, title or any other badge we might want to wear. It’s defined by displaying that we love God and follow His commandments. It’s defined by the things we do to love and meet the needs of others.