Moving Into Ministry
Did you ever hear the song of the truck driver who’s leading words were “Give me forty acres and I’ll turn this rig around?” Sometimes it takes a lot of room to turn around. The bigger the rig, the bigger the space needed. We have asked Him to move us into a ministry that is bigger than we are. For the last year especially, we have been in that circle, in God’s forty acres, like a “big rig” turning around. God is moving us toward ministry.
We began with an effort to “See God.” We then began looking at ministry in the New Testament seeing how practical and how everyday it was. It began to sink into our hearts and souls and we started exploring more deeply how God works with us to accomplish His purpose in our lives. We are now trying to identify our gifts and deploy them in His service. It has been a long journey and we still have a lot of miles to go. But, whether we know and understand it or not, we have asked God to fill our plate. If we are seeking to serve, God is going to give us opportunity.
In the past few months, God has delivered several opportunities right at our doorsteps to minister. Even as recent as today we were given another opportunity. Someone who saw our sign out by the road was moved to say, “Can you help me with my life?” We have asked for it and now it is coming. The question is, are we really ready for what we asked? Some will say, “I still do not have enough training.” Training? Really? Have we not spent a lifetime already doing what He has gifted us to do?
Perhaps we do not realize it because we have not looked at it in a religious context. But, does the usages of our gifts have to be in a “religious” context? Can we not break out of that mentality and realize that life with God is an everyday experience and not necessarily religious? Can I help a neighbor without it being an assembly. Can I pray for you on some other day than Sunday? Can I feed a hungry person on any day of the week just because he is hungry?
Watch for new faces. Notice when visitors come to our assemblies and ask yourself, “Aren’t we having more new faces around here lately?” Could it be that God is testing our ministry. Now, this does not mean that every new face you see represents some troubled soul who is seeking help for some disaster in their lives. Does ministry always mean that there must have been a disaster? Couldn’t ministry mean that someone is just searching for a friend? Could it be that someone is looking for a mate who walks with God? Could it be that the face you see is exploring a group of people to see if God is present among them? Could it be that in helping another person we might actually be “entertaining angels unaware?”
We are at a critical crossroad in this church. We have asked God to fill us with a desire and understanding of ministry. We have asked Him to lead us and empower us to be His representative in the lives of others. We have asked Him to give us the strength and courage to do those things which He has gifted us to do. Doesn’t it seem only logical that He would begin sending us those whom He would have us serve?
Perhaps our prayers should change and become more apparent. Maybe we should really concentrate our energy and resources into the real ministry and purpose of this church. And, when we do, maybe we need to ask God to open our eyes that we might see the opportunities He is now placing before us.
From this day forward, we will never be the same. If we are, we are going to be in direct violation of God’s working among us. He is here. He is working and He is empowering each one of us to do His will. We can choose to be blind and religious or we can choose to serve. And, I know you well enough to know that, together, we will serve Him in His purpose.
Try one more thing, if you will. Before this week is out, ask God to send us someone we can help with His empowerment. Ask Him specifically to send someone to whom YOU can be helpful. Keep in mind, you might see them at church, but do not forget to look right around you. God is not a Sunday God. He created the other days of the week and He works in them just as powerfully as He does on Sunday. Eyes open. Hearts ready. God empowered. Ministry will happen!