I have been working on a project that requires me to take a deeper look at the word “ministry” and helping people find ways to use their spiritual gifts. I often feel like the most unlikely person to do this since I never think of myself as someone with a “ministry”, and most days don’t feel like a have a “gift” at all. However, I know every single Christian has one because the Bible clearly says so. No, I’m not talking about the kind of gifts people are usually preoccupied with this time of year. God’s gifts don’t come on a giftcard or in expensive wrapping paper, but luckily they are never something you would want to return – unlike that ugly reindeer sweater your uncle gave you last year. Ironically, these gifts are meant to be given away yet somehow bring deep fulfillment to the one doing the “giving”.
Some may be big and obvious and others may be done quietly behind the scenes. Some show up in ways that are important but easily overlooked; a note of encouragement for a friend, a simple act of service that blesses someone else, or a word of truth spoken gently and courageously when no one else will say it. Maybe today you are up to your ears in bottles and dirty diapers and feel overwhelmed at thought of serving anywhere in any way. Maybe you are working and think that ministry is something for someone with a different job; or maybe you are hurting and wonder how you could help others when you can’t figure out your own problems.
Maybe you have doubts that God could ever use you for anything.
I have come to the conclusion that most of us don’t have to “find” our ministry as much as we have to stop running from it. Is there something you are passionate about? Is there a nagging sense that you should do something but you keep thinking “someone else would do that better”, or “that is too big for someone like me”? If so, the truth is you are probably onto something. God isn’t interested in joining us in what we can do on our own. He is, however, very interested in inviting us to join Him in what only He can do. Newsflash: He isn’t interested in hearing about your flaws and shortcomings either. I have already tried that one- so just trust me on this one, mmmkay? His power is made perfect in our weakness, so there is no sense in us trying to hide behind that.
If I could do anything, I would speak words of life that would inspire, encourage, and maybe even draw others closer to a God that can heal their deepest hurts and fulfill their every longing. What would you do?
And what are you waiting for?
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. – Romans 12:6-8