Many years ago, when I was at Bethel, there was a custodian named Keith who had a wonderful attitude. Back in the ’70s, Benson Great Hall did not exist, and chapel had to be set up in the gym every single day. A tarp was rolled out and folding chairs were put up, only to be taken down again shortly thereafter. Despite these tasks that many might consider monotonous, Keith had absolutely no problem getting kids to serve on his team! His nickname was “The Jolly Janitor,” and his attitude was infectious and inspiring.
As I pause to reflect on those fond memories, I find myself pondering, “What is ministry?”
As we enter fall, it is the time of year churches often unveil their ministry needs. That is essential as ministries simply don’t function by themselves. Getting involved in the church allows us to connect with others and “shrink” a large church to feel more like a community - even a family.
But as most of us just enjoyed an extra day off for the Labor Day weekend, I wanted to ask us to rethink our idea of ministry to consider what we’re also doing in our everyday sphere of influence beyond Sunday morning, Wednesday evening, and simply serving at church.
Ministry is for everything.
The truth is, whatever we do, paid or unpaid, we are all in ministry. It doesn’t make any difference if we’re trying to change the world or if we’re just trying to survive. Everything we do – work, play, eat, etc. – should be done for the glory of God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).
Ministry is for everyone.
A recent poll by Barna found that 75% of the people in the church think we really don’t minister unless we do it at (or for) church. Whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s not how we should view our life and ministry!
Ministry is not an exclusive privilege of pastors, missionaries, or church workers. Ministry is God with skin on.
Just as Jesus took on the form of a servant, we all are called to be servants and bless others right where we are.
Ministry is for everywhere.
Like Keith, where has God placed you to be an influence? Is it at home, at work, on a committee, or on the sidelines of your child’s game? Wherever we are, are we fully embracing the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus? There are too many times I miss the chance to serve as I should. Perhaps you do too.
Pastor Roger often says,
Go be the Church out there. You guys are going places that I or any other pastor will never reach. Be the Living Church.
Each time I hear that, it is a powerful reminder and a challenge that ministry does not stop when we leave the walls of the church building. We have the unique ability to influence others in our present season.
This fall, Pastors Roger and Tony will be preaching from the first part of the book of Daniel. Pastor Roger has mentioned how Daniel served under 4 successive pagan kings – quite successfully! Like Daniel’s times, our world and culture continue to change. How do we navigate these ever-changing times? How do we serve The King right where we are while being successful, infectious, and God-honoring? Stay tuned on Sunday mornings at Berean, as I know there will be some phenomenal biblical instruction and a challenge for us all!