Psalm 138: 8a
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever– do not abandon the works of your hands.
Miriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines ministry as something used to achieve an end. That definition works for me. For a Christian, the end is glorifying God by adding to His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth. Some of us may think of ministries as church activities and only church activities. They include preaching, singing, teaching, and missionary work.
But this is a limiting view of ministry as far as I’m concerned. Any activity you choose to do on a regular basis that glorifies God in some way becomes your ministry.
If you grow a huge garden and share the food with others—that’s a ministry.
If you babysit for young parents so they can have a date—that’s a ministry.
If you volunteer at a school, a hospital, or whatever—that’s a ministry.
When you make a conscious choice to do something and do it for God’s glory, it becomes a ministry. Teaching in a public school can be your ministry if you do it in such a way to glorify God. Being a good neighbor can be your ministry. God gives each of us different passions and abilities and when we use them to glorify God, then that activity becomes a ministry.
I know some of you may disagree (and that’s OK). You feel that it’s only a legitimate ministry if it’s related to the church you attend, but good works are not limited to church activities. In fact, I would challenge you to say that more of us need to step out of the church building to find our ministry.
In fact good works are not limited by anything except your creativity and your passion. If you viewing writing as your ministry, it will affect your writing and your life. It will give you the power to say no to activities that will distract you from your purpose which is also God’s purpose.
Writing is my ministry–my gift to God. He’s not gifted me to be a great theological writer. Instead I tell stories. I tell stories that show Christian characters trying to do the best they can in whatever circumstances they find themselves. I write stories to entertain Christians and non-Christians alike, and in so doing bring glory to God.
It took me many years to get published by a traditional publisher. And during those years, I spent countless hours at my computer writing. Each hour spent made me a better writer. To spend those hours writing, I had to say no to other activities and you may need to do the same–no matter what your ministry is.
This may not be easy and some people will not take kindly to you when you refuse to volunteer for whatever the next event may be, especially if you’re a pre-published writer. Now, I’m not saying to not participate and volunteer for SOME things. Of course, you should, but you also need the freedom to say no when it’s appropriate so you can follow the dream God’s put on your heart.
So, I’d love to hear from some of you who’ve stepped out of the box. What’s your ministry?