What is Ministry?

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”       ~~Matthew 20:28

“…and took upon him the form of a servant…”     ~~Philippians 2:7

What does it mean to live “ministry” life? For as long as I can remember, I have equated being “in ministry” only with those who were in “full-time ministry”: the pastors, staff members, evangelists, missionaries, teachers, etc. whose livelihoods came from churches or their associated ministries.  For the past few months, I have honestly felt a little lost. When we began our life together almost 15 years ago, we surrendered our lives and our home to “full-time service” and willingly followed the Lord wherever He would have us to go in pursuit of that calling. Then, life happened, and circumstances we may never fully understand landed us in a time of transition between ministries: a season when being “full-time” was relegated only to memories of the past and hopes for the future. For two solid years, we have prayed and waited and prayed and waited and prayed and waited for the Lord to open a door to another ministry position!! As I write this, we are still praying and waiting, which has lead me to ask, “What about the present? How can I write about living ministry life when, at this point, we are not really ‘in ministry’?”  This time of transition has taught me many things (which I may write more about in the future), but one of the most important is that our entire Christian life is supposed to be about ministering to others. After all, isn’t that what ministry is about in the first place? It is not about position or prestige or programs. Though having a full-time position may bring a certain prestige and may require participation in various programs, that is not the heartbeat of ministry. In truth, ministry is about people: it is about building relationships and serving others. Indeed, the foundation of all ministry (and, therefore, of Biblical leadership) is a servant’s heart! That is what Jesus had. Jesus Christ, the only man ever truly capable of speaking with all knowledge and authority (prestige), chose to leave his Heavenly position to come to this earth and live the life of a servant!  I have determined that, as we wait for God to show us His plan regarding full-time ministry, I will ask the Lord to give me the opportunity to serve and minister to people who are hurting! When the Lord does answer our prayers and fulfill our desire to return to a full-time position, I will continue to ask Him to guide me to those who are in need of a friendly smile, a kind word, or a helping hand. Certainly, I have not conquered this necessary aspect of ministry, but I would like to believe that I have learned something over the last two years: there are hurting people everywhere. There will always be people in need; and, therefore, there will always be a chance to live “ministry” life!

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Suffering in Silence: My Story

th_ribbon“Well, you seem like a very strong person.” With that statement, she fought back her own emotion, threatening to reveal itself, and uncomfortably ducked into another room, leaving me standing in shock as I muttered, “I try to be.” I think she really was trying to be kind, but her words stung.  Was I chosen to go through this because I was strong? Why was I the one that had to be strong again when others never had to go through this at all? If I really were that strong, why did this hurt so much? Was it supposed to hurt less because I was strong? There were a lot of questions during those long, dark days. There were days that I didn’t want to be strong; I just wanted life to go back to “normal.” I wanted to wake up and realize that this was all just a horrible dream: I wanted my baby back!

Continue reading “Suffering in Silence: My Story”

Memories and Blessings

Most of my posts so far have been ministry or Scripture related, but I thought it might be time to give you a little glimpse into something I have done this summer! Over the last couple of years, I have enjoyed getting to learn how to can fruits and vegetables. This is something that my MawMaw (my mom’s mother) did regularly to preserve the harvest from her huge garden!! (My husband’s favorite peas are the Zipper Creams that MawMaw used to can and give us when she came to visit. It was a sad day when we opened and ate the last jar she had given us!) In addition to canning things like green beans and peas, she made pickles, relishes, jams, jellies, and soup starters. The more I have learned about canning, the more I realize just how much work my MawMaw put into those jars of fruits and vegetables that we enjoyed! This summer marked 10 years since MawMaw went to Heaven, and I have thought about her a lot as I canned in my kitchen! Continue reading “Memories and Blessings”