What do you think of when you hear the words ministry or serving God? So many people think ministry/serving God can only be done within the church building. And there is a huge misconception that you are only closer to God or that you are more favored by God when you serve Him in the church. I used to be one of those people who thought that way…until God stirred up my heart in a different way.
Ministries within the church are extremely important and very much needed..whether its leading the congregation into worship or being a youth leader etc. Some people are specifically called to do ministry inside the church walls but not every member of the body of Christ is called to do that!
This quote by Martin Luther is truly amazing…for those of who you don’t know him, he is the one that started the Protestant Reformation.
” The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church alter, singing, reading, sacrifice and the like is without a doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that the service of God takes place only in the church and by the works done therein…the whole world could abound with service to the Lord…not only in the churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop and field.”
Have you heard of the term “ministering in the marketplace”. In the bible, we have seen time and time again how Jesus spent a lot of time doing ministry in places where many people often gathered or passed through. Much of His miracles and teachings took place in the marketplace as well as many other places like prisons, houses, jails etc. The marketplace, however, was always very busy and filled with so many people from different walks of life. Some people did business there, some people socialized there, some people spent their days there for recreation etc. Jesus loved teaching and showing His Fathers love to people everywhere and did not do it in private. He was very intentional and He used every opportunity He could get, to get out there ….to teach, to love, to heal, to spend time with the outcasts of society along with everyone else, to basically do the work of His Father. If Jesus served others and made Himself available to others, shouldn’t we aim to do the same? Just like that, we are called to get out of our comfort zones and share the good news and love of Christ in whatever way He wants to use us….and that, daughters of God, is the start of your ministry unto the Lord… beyond the walls of the church!
Did you ever stop and think about where you spend 80% of your day? For most of us, it is not in the church building! Wherever your “9 to 5” life may be…whether its at work, at school or at home with the family and caring for your kids, God has placed you there for a reason and a purpose. Isn’t that kind of like your marketplace and where you can start your ministry and service unto Him? Whatever season you’re in right now and wherever you are spending most of your time do it with excellence as if doing it for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). When you are working as if you’re working for God, the light of God will shine all around you and people will be drawn to Him. Since we are called to be a light in the world, we should not behave the same way as the other people around us, we should be set apart.
Here are a few examples of simple ways on how you can serve God in whatever season you are in and where ever you’re a spending most of your time: Being an honest and hard working employee, being there for that co worker going through a hard time, opening your home and time to a single mother, being a caring sister, spending time with your parents or loved ones, being a loving and dependable daughter, starting bible studies in your school or workplace, ministering to the lady whose considering a divorce, being a God fearing and fair boss, being there for and praying for a family member going through depression, being an Godly example to your child, raising your child in the fear of the Lord, loving your spouse the way God designed…the list goes on.
These are all small ways of serving God and others through your acts of love, but it will make a huge impact. Evangelism can be so specific when God directs you to minister to a stranger in that moment, but sometimes our evangelism actually requires building relationships with others, gaining their trust, and pouring love on them while you tell them the message of Christ.
I think it is so amazing seeing people on fire for God and glorifying Him in the secular world. We need more God fearing people in Hollywood, in the sports industry, in the legal system, running governments, in the health system, in our education system, running businesses etc. It would be so awesome to hear about any of you God fearing ladies running for mayor or pursuing a career in acting or something! Pursue the God given talents, giftings and desires He has placed within you, so that you can bring Glory to His name where ever He is leading you! The opportunities to minister are endless so don’t limit yourself or how God desires to use you because the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). Since we serve a creative God, the way He wants to use you will also be creative as well. There isn’t a “one size fits all” rule when it comes to serving Him.
Always keep in mind that just because someone serves at church, it does not make them holier or more favored by God than someone serving outside of the church. I used to think the biggest calling for me was being a worship leader for the rest of my life because I had a passion for it and I was doing something at church …which is the house of God, so therefore I would be closer to Him. But God showed me later that leading worship was just a small part of the plan He has for my life and that leading worship was just for a season. Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% a worshipper of God and I will never stop praising Him through songs, but He is using me in a different way now and I am realizing that I put myself in a box when I thought that was the only ministry for me.
Also, I feel that I have to mention that it’s important not to judge the people you think are not doing anything for God. Some people serve God and its obvious but others serve Him without recognition or anyone knowing except God. So just because we are not aware of their ministry and their act of service unto the Lord, it doesnt mean they aren’t doing anything! Every ministry…whether its big or small….matters to God and is equal in His eyes because He knows the posture of your heart when you do it! So don’t belittle someone who is being used differently than you. I’ve experienced this type of mentality towards me by people who don’t know about anything I do for God, so I know how hurtful it can be. I just have a strong desire to take the church and the message of Christ beyond the walls, and that is how I am serving God and doing ministry for Him!
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries/service, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all”
– 1 Corinthians 12:4-6