Ministry Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
We have all heard the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” The same is true with ministry. We often sit idly by and allow our minds to become mush. They must be fed and they must be exercised. Ministry is the same way. For years, ministry has become mush in churches all over the world. We have waited and waited for someone to come along and “teach us” how to do it. We’ve hired professionals to come in and do it for us, and it still goes undone for the most part. Or, perhaps we are doing it and don’t really know it.
Ministry is common. It is taking the things God has already gifted us to do and using them to His glory. Ministry is not as religious as we might suppose. It is ordinary. But, what makes it awesome is, empowered by God and exercised in His name, it becomes extraordinary. God can take the simplest of actions, on our part, to assist our fellow man, and turn them into issues that can reach across generations with their good. He is an awesome God.
The most important thing about ministry is God, not us. There are specific things like sharing the Word that need training, but for the most part, God has already put in us the things necessary for us to complete our job here. It is important to remember why we do what we do instead of just doing something. We should do what we do in His name and for His honor. It is easy to get caught up in doing things for others that highlights us. If we do for others and they think more of us than they do of God, something is wrong. God did not gift us for our glorification but for His.
Every day of our lives we are faced with opportunities to minister (serve) others and they often go unnoticed. We find ourselves wishing for training and expertise from others instead of desire and empowerment from God. God set us on a track in life, gifted us and has promised to be with us, empowering us to do those things which He has called us to do. He would not be so unfair to put us out among a sea of people and leave us on our own.
We are being called to open our eyes, not to look for opportunities, but to see those which are already around us. Helping others is a broad concept. How do I help others? What do I do? How long should I do it? These questions arise in our minds and we struggle with them because we are seeking self-empowerment. What I do depends on what needs doing. And, how it should be done would depend on the situation at hand. God will show us if we really want to know. How long it will take will depend on the severity of the situation and the willingness of the part of the servant and the one being served.
The Lord’s Supper was left for us to remember how Jesus served us. The bread, which represents His body, “given for you,” and the cup, representing His blood, “given for you,” is a reminder for us to give ourselves for others. Sure we remember in this that Christ died for us, but if we fail to remember the why, and the fact that it was “for us,” we will miss the point. Every time we partake we are called to remember to serve and to honor His service to us. Few would rarely forget that He died for us. But, we often forget to serve others. As a gravestone reminds us of the person and the life of one who has gone on before, the Supper is a memorial to remind us that He served us so we are to serve others.
Ministry can be embedded deeply in the Word, teaching and admonishing each other in the principles of God. But it can also be lending an ear to someone who just needs to talk. It can be as common as helping a young, struggling mother with her children or with overwhelming responsibilities. It can be a pie baked and delivered in the name of God Almighty to someone who needs their spirits lifted and needs to know that someone is thinking about them. It can be as ordinary as stopping on the side of the road to give a lift or change a tire or take someone to get gasoline. It can be as ordinary as taking food to someone who is overwhelmed with grief at the loss of a loved one. It could be slipping someone a few dollars to help them make it to the next pay period or to get the gas or electricity turned back on. The list could be endless and could be named among the things already being done.
But one thing that is different is that it is done in the name of Christ… no strings attached. Do it because we love Jesus first and the person we are helping second. Let Christ shine. Let others know that God has blessed us and all we are doing is passing on the blessing. God will be glorified and the ordinary service we render will become EXTRAORDINARY as it is empowered by God. God will then use these efforts to grow His Kingdom in His own time, at His own pace and in His own way. But whatever we do, we must constantly remember that “Ministry is a terrible thing to waste.”