Sitting in a coffee shop visiting over a warm cup of coffee with a cold breeze blowing outside, a friend says, “Oh how I wish I were in full-time ministry like you.” The statement didn’t settle as it wrestled it’s way in to my mind. Actually, the words full-time ministry kind-of stopped my heart for a moment as I wondered what she truly meant.
There are a few phrases that just don’t set with my soul. We looked at the first phrase I’d like to ban the other day, “I want to be a missionary.” And now we’ll look at the other phrase that should be ban, “I wish I were in full-time ministry.”
After I had time to process and ask more questions from my friend, I got what she was saying. She wanted to serve others. And frankly like many of you, she only knew the side of me that serves the homeless and loves on those bound up in forms of sexual exploitation. But ministry is more than serving in that type of capacity. . .it’s a way of life.
Why are we always trying to put a title with something we are called to do?
It confuses us. It confuses others. It limits us to what we should be doing 24/7, which is serving others. All others. All times.
While my friend was intrigued with a few ways I serve, what she didn’t realize is I serve and minister in other places as well. In our home, in the office, at church, in the grocery story, and to those who are sick. The list goes on and on.
Jesus didn’t call us to just minister in just one area of life — he called us to minister to and share our faith with all.
You are in full-time ministry.
I went on to explain to my friend that her longing to minister was real. That she only needed to open her eyes and heart to what true ministry is. Because it doesn’t matter where you live, work, or worship — you are in ministry. Your whole beautiful-messy life is a ministry when you open your eyes to what Jesus really called you to do. Love others!
Somehow in America we’ve separated our lives into compartmentalized boxes. Then we label these boxes: this box is for home, this box for work, and this beautiful sweet box here that’s for the sacred — ministry. We try to separate our lives in to secular and sacred, which is foolish because all of life is sacred. [click to tweet]
If you are frustrated at work thinking it has nothing to do with ministry, you need to think again. The is the exact place that God has placed you for the moment to make a difference, to minister.
If being a stay-at-home mom seems unrewarding, then please spend some time reevaluating what you do. You are ministering. What you pour in to those precious little-ones will be the foundation for their life to come. Now that’s an awesome ministry.
If you are chaotically running in to the grocery story for some last minute ingredients that you forgot, and there is a person in a wheelchair slowing down your hurried progress, stop and remember that that is an opportunity for you to love, help, and encourage. That’s ministry.
Ministry is everywhere.
As you live out the moments of your day, begin to notice the people all around you. They are everywhere — home, on the bus, at the cubicle next to you at work, at the coffee shop, and even on the sides of the road. People, countless people all needing love and help. There’s enough needs to keep everyone in full time ministry.
So as you move from here, ban this phrase and thinking that ministry only comes with a title. Frankly, I think more ministry is done behind the scenes in the most “secular” sacred places that you can imagine. That’s just how our Jesus works — in the ordinary and common ways of life.
He loves and serves the lonely, broken, bruised, hurting, unloved, and unnoticed. And now, he has entrusted that mission to you.
In other words, full-time ministry opportunities lie everywhere!
How can you love and serve another day?