Laaaawd, we make ministry so hard! It came to me while I was in the shower (I know, To Much Info–but it’s the truth). Ministry ain’t gotta be all that we make it. It doesn’t have to have a president, director, treasurer and such. Too. Much. Ministry just has to have you, and it doesn’t even have to have you with a Bible in your hand! Ministry doesn’t require you to quote a scripture, say hallelujah, speak in an unknown tongue, and cut a step all in the time span of 3 seconds.
No! Stop it! Ministry is simple; I mean, if we do it like Jesus, it’s simple.
Again, here is the disclaimer. I am by no means an authority on ministry. I can, however, crank out a useful list faster than a speeding bullet. Once I gather up my bible brains and imbibe it with my gift to teach, I’m on a roll. So this is my list of “Ministry in Five Simple Steps.” It’s even supported by scripture. Imagine that. I hope it blesses you and gives you a little more joy for your ministry journey.
- Take a walk. Walking is good for the body, but it is also good for spiritual and emotional well-being. Sometimes, it is useful to just take a walk with a person who may need some spiritual guidance. It’s not like you’re asking them to spend money on a meal. It’s just a walk. You’ll find that once you and someone else start walking together, all kinds of talking go on (but I’m getting ahead of myself). Thing is, Jesus did a lot of walking, and He did a lot of talking while he was walking. He and his disciples walked everywhere, as Jesus dropped nuggets about how the kingdom of God worked. The one time Jesus rode in on something, well, we know what happened with that. CRUCIFY HIM! Proof positive that riding is not always a good thing. Go back to the tried and true form of transportation. Take your time. Walk and talk. Ministry will show up for the journey, I promise.
- Have a seat. Most times, if we catalog what we’ve accomplished running around all day, the accomplishments would be small. I call it “going (nowhere) and doing (nothing).” Sit down somewhere. There will be a person nearby who needs your encouragement. Position yourself to be available to sit a spell, and do so without making the opportunity seem like a bother to you. Even Jesus sat to minister to folks. As a matter of fact, Jesus said himself that he sat daily in the temple ministering, and until the Pharisees got ready to kill him, nobody bothered Him. This solidifies the fact that being behind a podium is not a prerequisite to ministering to God’s people. So sisters, have several seats.
- Lend an ear. I said in an earlier post that the reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth is because He wants us to spend twice as much time listening as we do talking (Preach Reverend Ray!). You get clues on how to minister (and pray for) people by listening. And listen for context clues (that’s the teacher in me talking)–sometimes, there are words beneath the words. What you’ll have to do is dual process that thang. That is, you have to have your physical ears open to the one to whom you’re ministering and your spiritual ears open to God so that He can reveal some of the secret needs of her heart to you. Jesus’ ears were always open. Folks were calling on Him to help them walk, to help them see, to straighten out withered hands, to stop issues of blood. He granted the request, because He heard from the people and His Father in heaven. Won’t he do it? Yes he will.
- Share a story. I give this advice to every one of my students. Be transparent by sharing some of your stories and struggles, specifically the ones in which you’ve experienced a victory. I am inspired by and engaged in the stories of others. Sharing in this way allows the one you’re ministering to to see her struggle in a more positive light. Sharing the glory story gives people hope. And you know, we aren’t supposed to act like there is no hope. What kind of ministry is that? Jesus told stories as well (you knew it was coming), only He used parables. Depending on his audience, He used everyday stories to connect with the people. Because Jesus used terminology and situations his audience was familiar with, they were eager to hear from Him. They trusted Him and eventually became disciples.
- Do a favor. Ministry, sisters and brothers, is service. Bottom line. There is an expectation that comes along with ministering to people. People need ministry, because they need help. Position yourself to be a help. And help isn’t always money or commodities you can touch. Sometimes, the first four things I listed is help enough. Sisters in particular just need to get some stuff off their chests without feeling judged or criticized–without the threat of gossip, rumors and business being all out at everybody’s front door. We just need to let it out sometimes. And that’s okay. It’s biblical. The Bible encourages us to confess our faults one to the other. The bible also tells us to speak to each other in encouraging songs and hymns. So good or bad, we are advised to let our experiences out. (Wait, I lost my point. Okay–got it). A favor, or service, or ministry could just be, being a listening ear. Whatever the favor, remember, if God leads you to it, He has made provision for you to supply the favor. Get ‘er done!
So that’s it? Yep that’s it. I want you to change the way you think about ministry these days. Try the five simple steps of ministry, and then come back to the blog to testify about how it worked for you. I now charge you to get your 5 step ministry on!
Having several seats,