If you are living in a broken world as a sinner among sinners, then every situation, location, and relationship you encounter requires ministry.
What is ministry? It’s not just the calling of the paid professionals, nor limited to scheduled activities on your calendar.
In biblical terms, ministry is not about a time, a place, or a job description. It is a heartfelt willingness to respond to the spiritual need that God puts in your path, anytime, anyplace. This certainly includes participation in what your church schedules, but it must be far more.
We must view every dimension of our life as a forum for ministry. Marriage is ministry. Parenting is ministry. Friendship is ministry. Living with neighbors is ministry. Work is ministry. Life is ministry.
And ministry is life.
When we divide our existence into two separate parts — “ministry” and “life” — guess which one gets the short end of the stick? Guess which one has to get by on your leftover time, your leftover energy, your leftover finances, and your leftover passion?
If you see ministry as something that you do when you step out of your life — that is, when the church has programmed and scheduled some form of ministry for you — then the vast majority of your life is yours to use for you.
But Scripture teaches the reverse of those priorities. It challenges us with the reality that nothing we have belongs to us. We don’t have a life divided into God’s part and our part. It’s all “God’s part,” the whole thing.
“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
This means that we have been brought into relationship with God not only so that we could be rescued from us, but so that we may be part of God’s rescue of others. Our life exists for his purposes. We were given life and breath to help maximize the glory of Another. This is why life is ministry.
Brief moments of
days and days
so little of me
yet I have received
so much of You.
I treat ministry
as a big
out of what is mine
what is yours.
there is no
mine and yours.
with your blood.
All that I have
all that I am
belongs to you,
for Your keeping
for Your using
for Your Kingdom
for Your glory.
All that I am
wherever I am
whatever the time
used in service of you.
This is my calling
this is Your will.
Remember, every facet of life is a forum for ministry. You will never face a day that is not filled with ministry need and opportunity.
Are your eyes open to the need, and are you capturing the God-given opportunities?
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13–16
Paul David Tripp
- Why is ministry not just the calling of paid professionals?
- In what ways have you limited your ministry participation to scheduled activities on your calendar?
- What ministry opportunities are on your doorstep right now, outside of the scheduled activities and programs that your church or para-church group puts on?
- What are some excuses and obstacles that potentially get in the way of you living with a ministry mentality?
- What are the rewards and blessings you can experience if you live with a ministry mentality?