inistry occurs when, in the name of Jesus, we reach out to fill a spiritual, emotional, or physical need in someone’s life.
Jesus said He came to earth “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). As Jesus demonstrated in sacrificing Himself at Calvary, ministry is putting other people’s needs above our own, seeking their best, and giving all we have to ensure their needs are satisfied.
For me, ministry has many facets. I often minister when only God and whoever I’m ministering to know about it. It is praying with someone for God’s guidance, for God’s help in finding a job, or for divine healing. It is a phone call, a text message, an email to say someone is missed at church services. Ministry is inviting people to come back to church when I see them around town. It is a visit to a nursing home, a funeral home, a hospital room, or someone’s house to show God’s love.
Ministry also takes the form of time spent preparing a Sunday school, children’s church, or Joy Belles lesson; rehearsing a song; and all those Easter or Christmas play practices with the kids that nobody likes so we can present our best to God and the congregation. Sometimes ministry takes place in the midnight hour when God impresses my heart to pray for someone or when I can’t sleep and I begin to intercede for the sick and lost people associated with our church family.
I minister more frequently to children than to adults. I love children’s ministry because kids are immature, energetic, self-centered yet loving, forgiving, mostly easy to please, and eager to learn. Ministry is being patient and loving with the children when they are active and need discipline and instruction. It is sharing with them the Word of God and insisting they read it for themselves even as I explain each verse. Ministry is teaching children how to pray, how to live pleasing to God, and how to witness to their families and friends.
Ministry is being kind, compassionate, yet firm in instructing them how to respect God, His house, and His people. Ministry is Scripturally showing the children what it means to be saved, why we must be saved, and the rewards of living a saved life. It is explaining to the kids our Church of God heritage and showing them in the Bible why and how we practice Communion, water baptism, and foot washing.
Ministry is Scripturally defining sanctification and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. It is telling the children about the heaven we can gain and the hell we want to avoid. Ministry is consistently living a godly, Christ-centered life so I bring glory to God. Ministry is even planning trips to Carowinds Amusement Park and Myrtle Beach to show the kids that Christians can have fun.
Ministry can be monetary or it may be a giving of my time or assistance to fill a person’s needs. In Matthew 25:34-46, Jesus says we will be eternally rewarded for ministering to people’s needs or suffer eternally for ignoring their needs.
True ministry is following God’s leading when He speaks to my heart even when I think I don’t have the resources or abilities to do what He is requesting of me. Without fail when I obey God’s leading, I find myself being blessed beyond what I was obedient to give.
Ministry is a daily activity because God is alive in my heart. Daily I pray for God to send opportunities my way so that I can minister in His name. And I pray God will open my spiritual eyes allowing me to see those opportunities.
Ministry is not something that happens only on Sunday or Wednesday or when I’m at church. It is an opportunity I embrace daily. I want to continually share the Gospel—the good news that there is a better way to live, and it is found in Jesus Christ.