ON THE NEVER-ENDING NATURE OF MINISTRY

If summed up in a single word, ministry is simply “readiness.” 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7. The expression and manifestation of the Holy Spirit is given to me for the benefit, advantage and profit of others.

I’ve always been perplexed with the basic view of ministry as something one must get into or sign up for, as opposed to it simply being someone you are. Lingering over ministry there looms a black cloud that implies if we’re not involved in one of the many categories or vocations of the standard ministry pool, then we are not serving the Kingdom, and therefore not in ministry. Not to negate the many core areas of need in the Church, but vocations are nothing more than things we do. As such, they can be done out of bondage, obligation, pressure and selfish motives rather than desire… turning them from ministry into misery where the heart is tainted and the results anemic, if that. True and lasting ministry resides in who we are being while doing the things we do - in vocations or otherwise. It’s about the posture of our hearts being in that special space where the fruits of the spirit are evident through counting others as more important than ourselves. It’s moving in the spirit of giving where for a time we forget about our own struggles, shortcomings, insecurities and agendas and focus on serving others with excellence and without conditions or expectations. This is ministry, and as we share our gifts with others, the fullness of Christ’s presence shines through, tasks are done, and we’re refreshed, alive, and ready for what’s next. The ministry of “readiness” knows no limits where it can show up. The light is always on, shining on others, regardless of location, vocation or situation. 

The Big Question:Do you view ministry as a place you go to, something you do, or do you see it as someone you can be… every moment of every day?