I think one of the many blessings we, as Christians, have is the gift of ministry that Jesus so beautifully personified in His life on earth. Have you noticed how He was always reaching the lost, the lowly, the infirmed? He had compassion on them and wanted to heal and help them. Shouldn’t we follow His example?
Do you find joy or happiness when you are ministering to others? You have probably heard me say before that I really am happiest when I am helping others.
I think it is really neat to see how our ministry can have a ripple effect and bless others and maybe even inspire others to do more along the way.
It is such a blessing to be able to minister or look at some different things that you do as ministering to others.
What are some types of “ministry” that you do?
–Do you work at a soup kitchen?
–Do you help serve food at a bereavement ministry?
–Do you read books for little children at the library?
–Do you send cards to the lonely or sick?
–Do you sponsor a child in another country to help them get an education?
–Do you sincerely and faithfully pray for particular people you know that are sick or in need of special prayer?
–Do you volunteer bringing food to the shut-ins?
–Do you give money to people in need?
–Do you pay for someone’s coffee anonymously?
–Do you visit the widow you know?
–Do you help some little ones and their teacher at school?
–Do you make pies for your Bible Study prayer partners?
There are really so many different “things” that can be considered ministry. I think maybe it has to do with your mindset and what you do with it. If you’re doing it to give honor and glory to God and because of what He has done in your life, I think it qualifies as “ministry.”
I never really thought about the different “ministries” I’ve done through the years until now, but I’ll share them in the hopes it might inspire you or help you reflect on some different things you’ve done in your life.
When I was a teen, I enjoyed volunteering at the local hospital. It was then that I started to learn the joy of helping others. Meeting people who couldn’t do things for themselves because of either physical disabilities or being sick enabled me to help others and opened up a whole new world for me.
I remember helping my grandmother and great aunt as a teen as well. My great aunt’s eyes failed as she aged so I even got to be her “eyes” with taking care of paperwork and her finances for her.
As a young adult, I recall helping at our youth group because of some older friends we had made who encouraged us to help out. Speaking in front of a crowd or group of people is definitely out of my comfort zone, as I tend to be a more “behind the scenes” helper. I enjoyed helping in the little ways at youth group retreats and different functions.
There was a time when a coworker, at work I ended up befriending, and his friend started a Teen Gospel Mission. We would have several talks about the Lord and faith. They needed help remodeling a building to use and help with little details along the way. It was a blessed time of fellowship, laughs and trying to help minister to teens.
And, how could I forget trying to teach the little kids religion classes? Trying is the key word! My teaching days quickly ended after the year one girl wanted to be removed from my class. There were several rambunctious boys in the class that year. Needless to say, I guess God knew I would not make a good teacher..the profession I thought I was going to go into.
When my kids ranged in age from 9 to 1 1/2 years old, I felt a calling to do some type of family ministry because of a sermon at church. I knew the youth group at our church had worked at a soup kitchen as part of a fasting and sleeping in a cardboard box for a night to experience the feeling of homelessness, so I contacted that church. Thankfully, there was a couple that so graciously accepted our whole family as helpers. That was 12 1/2 years ago, and we are still blessed to help out once a month there. Many times, my little one would be asleep on my shoulder as we helped prepare and serve the food to the people. I find myself praying for the people as we’re serving them, asking God to meet their needs and provide for them. Some day, I know I should do something outside my comfort zone, and sit down and talk with one of them.
This past Christmas, I was blessed to be asked to help go Christmas caroling with some people from our Bible Study. It really showed me the ripple effect that ministry can have.
There was this one lady, Kelley, who was talking with a Deacon from our church who shared a person, Marian, who needed some prayer. Kelley prayed for Marian, a widow, who is in a nursing home. Kelley felt the Lord inspiring her to go meet this stranger, something definitely outside her comfort zone. Kelley has been visiting Marian almost every week from that day on. At Christmas time, Kelley got the idea Marian would be blessed by Christmas Carols. So, Kelley poked around to find someone willing to play the guitar (aka my husband) and gathered some singers. (aka me among those.)
It was a very touching experience. Marian’s son and three out of four grandchildren were there. I often find myself praying as I’m doing these “ministries.” It was so touching to see Marian’s son tear up as we were singing and to see how nicely his teen children were joining right in with the singing. It was so beautiful to see Marian join in singing and raising her hands in praise to the Lord, despite her pain and frail condition, as well as missing her husband. We happened to originally go to the wrong floor, but it was neat that I saw another friend’s father-in-law that was there. I really wanted us to go sing to him but we were on a time crunch because at the last minute we decided to take the troops to another shut in on the way home to sing to them. It just happened that Kelley had also been praying for this gentleman (Greg Pedroza, who I wrote on in another blog), so she finally got to meet him and his wife. While there, Greg had the idea to call another man in a nursing home, so we got to minister to him as well. One small thing can have such a big ripple effect.
As I volunteer at a school a few hours a week, I enjoy helping the teacher and then interacting with the kids and helping them do things. They are such a joy to watch…to reflect on their innocence and love they share with you. This year the kids are so friendly and will come give you a hug and grab your hand to walk somewhere. It is a blessing to pray for them and to think about their future as I’m there too.
In our Bible study, we are suppose to do a ministry outside our comfort zone and then share that experience with our group. Going to a jail would definitely be outside my comfort zone so I was kind of disappointed to learn that you have to be approved and go through lots of things to really be able to go into a jail nowadays.
It was neat to see how in one person’s life, God used his two children to confirm that he should go visit and deliver a poinsettia that had been at church to a lady in a nursing home, who turned out to be none other than Marian! So, it is amazing to see how one simple act, say praying for someone, can lead to changing and affecting so many other lives.
I encourage you to continually think and seek ways to minister to others. Your life will definitely be blessed in unexpected ways, as well as blessing other people.
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” –Matthew 25:40