The Ministry Question

“What’s you’re ministry?” have you ever been asked that question? Have you ever just had a lot of trouble answering it?

Today in our post church bible study (or whatever you call it… maybe Sunday school) we had a really stimulating conversation about ministry. We talked about the necessity for Christians to be involved in ministry. This I agree with. We are, as followers of Christ called to ministry, each one of us, not just pastors or worship leaders but everyone who claims Christ. But I worry about how we pressure that necessity. There seems to be a lot of pressure on Christians to involve themselves in some sort of organized ministry. Today in our class Chris, the man who facilitated the conversation, got us thinking about ministry as something you do on a regular basis, “This isn’t ushering once a week or singing in kids church once a month,” he told us. He was trying to get us to think of ministry as something bigger. This was all good but he still pressured us to be able to identify an ministry we’re involved in. He was pressuring us to be part of “a ministry” as in an organized/facilitated/structured organization. My worry is that we are separating, too far, ministry from our everyday lives.

Maybe for you to understand my worry I’d better define ministry. Ministry, at it’s core, is simply meeting needs. We could talk for a while trying to understand what this means but it’s a very simple definition. Here’s some questions: does it have to be so organized? In organizing ourselves into a ministry for several hours a week are we excusing ourselves from ministry outside of that schedule? Do we have to be in “a ministry” to do ministry? Why can’t ministry be something we do, or at least seek to do, all day everyday?

If I had to answer the question right now; “What’s you’re ministry?” I would say something like “being a good roommate and a good student.” I deeply care about the needs that lie outside that box but this is the situation in which God has placed me. I live in San Diego so I can’t fully commit myself to LA and I go to school in LA so I can’t commit to San Diego either, should I feel guilty? What I can commit to is being a minister wherever I am lead; in the Cafeteria, on the Rugby pitch, in the classroom, etc. That is my ministry.

If you are passionate about something and an organization is doing something there then join them. But when asked “What’s you’re ministry?” don’t feel like you have to name some group title. Your life is your ministry. What you have to ask now is “what am I doing with my life?” The ministry question just got a whole lot bigger.

By the way pray for Ashley, she’s sick.


bruced said…
The Lord is about the ministry of reconciliation. Shouldn't His agenda be our agenda?

I wish you good health, Ashley. May your recovery be speedy!
wellis68 said…
Yes bruce. I agree 100%, the ministry of reconciliation is meeting needs. It's reconciling everything to God, restoring the world.
Tikkun Olam!
wellis68 said…
Fishing for men is meeting their needs, correct? What about Matthew 25? what about the ministry of reconcillation? Maybe fishing for men is a lot bigger than just changing the way people think.
SteveW said…
Jason, just curious. Why is it that everytime I read one of your comments they appear cutty or accusing or authoritative. I hope you haven't postitoned yourself as though you think you know so much more than everyone else? Probably not. Probably just my imagination.
wellis68 said…
I don't want to go back and forth with this one but what's been said here that you find unbiblical. God has given us the "ministry of reconcilliation," a very biblical concept. Reconcilliation is all we're after here. I want what God wants; for everything to be restored. How's this "not biblical?"
wellis68 said…
Reconcilliation is making things right. everything will be reconciled, everything.
wellis68 said…
Whatever you do to the least of these you do for me...
This isn't a ministry description? I would say it's the clearest one. I am in total agreement that teaching the bible is indeed ministry but is helping people and feeding the poor not? I think we agree and just don't realize it.

The only difference is I want to include vocation into ministry. I don't think it's confusion. Our true vocation is to be ministers, joining with God in His act of new creation. This includes teaching and talking about the important things (including the Bible). But we cannot call ourselves ministers without meeting people's needs, just as we cannot be ministers without in some way passing on this great truth and tradition we are a part of.

In my vocation as a student and a roomate it would be really easy for me to not be a minister. I can have a vocation without a ministry but not a ministry without a vocation. If I can't do ministry in the small things how could I expect to do ministry anywhere else?

It can't just be left at talk, I can't talk people into the Kingdom. I have to demonstrate the gospel before anyone can really understand it. The gospel is so deep and mystical that it has to be shown or else we are speaking a different language. I can't profess a God who wants to make things right and wants to feed the hungry without trying to do the same. If we offer a hungry man Jesus without ever offering him bread what kind of Jesus are we offering anyway?