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Last year we started talking about what we call the doctrine of “ministry”: that we’re made not only for work, and for fun, but also to do things that partner with God in saving the world. Usually church people think of “ministry” as “church work” but we said that it’s anything (outside of our regular work) that helps make the world more the way God intended it – that brings peace, wellness (Hebrew, Shalom) to the world by relying on God’s mercy and strength. Not everyone is ready for this. If you’re in a place where you’re life is seriously broken, the thing you need is healing – first. Ministry comes later when you have something to give. But for those who HAVE been seeking out and doing their ministry(s) – here’s a quick test to tell you if you’re changing the world…
Ask yourself : “If everyone you knew was doing the exact same ministry with similar results – would the world be a better place, a world that reflects God’s mercy and compassion and goodness?” Just the way it’s hard for farmers to see crops growing day by day (it looks the same today as it did yesterday), it’s sometimes hard to see how your ministry changes the world unless you extrapolate and see what it would look like on a larger scale. If that’s the case, you ARE making a huge difference. And maybe, just maybe, you need to help other people to take up similar ministries, or to work together so you can actually change the world in a bigger ways.
Ask yourself : “If someone were to do a behind the scenes documentary of your ministry work – also interviewing your thoughts and struggles as you learn to rely on Jesus for wisdom and ability – would people see something good about God there?” Real ministry work happens without a lot of fanfare, and you’re not seeking human recognition – so it’s easy to think it’s “not a big deal.” But to God who sees everything and knows your heart and your struggle to follow Jesus – it IS a big deal! Your ministry may not catch other people’s attention – but does it impress God? Are you living proof (for all the inhabitants of heaven who see you) that God’s redemption is working?
Now if you ARE changing the world, congratulations! Take some time to remember how much fun it is to be on that side of the equation (before we were part of the problem – now we’re part of the solution and ambassadors of hope). If you are NOT a world changer, yet – and you’re not in mourning, or in need of healing – then why aren’t you changing the world? What’s holding you back?