My theme for Tuesdays is Jesus, Ministry and the Word. I’ve talked a lot about Jesus and a lot about the Word but haven’t hit on ministry much. So let’s go there today…
A minister, by dictionary definition, is “a person acting as the agent or instrument of another”. By that definition, every believer on the planet should be a minister. Someone who is acting on behalf of Jesus every day, in every situation. And in that case, every believer is ‘in the ministry’.
I believe in this. I’m a huge advocate and encourager of ‘marketplace ministry’. We need to be where the people who need Jesus are. Church people need Jesus, they need equipped and empowered but non-church goers need to be introduced to Jesus for the first time. They need to see, through the lives of believers, the reality of the God who loves them immensely.
I would that all believers would take on this commission and love the people well that are within their realm of living. In the Church, we have magnified and glorified the position of full-time ministry but I’m grateful for the raising up of people like Andy Mason and his ministry, “Heaven in Business”. I know there are many others raising up in this season, as well, to empower and encourage those who are accepting the call to be ministers in their arena of life.
My husband and I have been in “full-time ministry” since we got married. Meaning, it’s the position that earns our living. In this sheltered position, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact there’s people outside the church that we are called to minister to as well. I remember when the Lord opened my eyes to how sheltered from ‘real life’ I was living. Sure, I was encouraging and equipping believers within the Church but I was not in touch with the life that these believers were living on a daily basis. Because of this, how I could encourage and equip them was very incomplete.
It was in that season, that we became community people. I joined the PTO at my kids’ school. I subbed as a para and in the school office. I worked part-time at a local cafe. I needed to come out of my sheltered church world to see real live people in action. To see what life outside of a church service was like. To be an agent of Jesus to a world who hasn’t met Him yet. To be a minister in that capacity.
Ministry is important. Ministry is not just what happens from the pulpit on Sunday mornings, though it includes that. Ministry is what happens when believers embrace their identity of being an instrument of Jesus to the world around them – whatever realm their world includes – schools, grocery stores, business offices, hospitals, department stores, factories and job sites. People need us to to be the ministers that we are called to be!