What Ministry Means...
"Ministry is a lifestyle."
I've been hearing this a lot lately. The connotation of this sentence varies but allow me to offer you this definition.
verb: minister; 3rd person present: ministers; past tense: ministered; past participle: ministered; gerund or present participle: ministering
attend to the needs of (someone).
"her doctor was busy ministering to the injured"
provide (something necessary or helpful).
"the story was able to minister true consolation"
Ministry is service. It does not always require a license to attend to the needs of or provide something necessary or helpful. It only requires heart.
So often we get discouraged in our faith walk because our works don’t meet some checklist or pious protocol. Allow me to encourage you. Every time you sow or serve with even the smallest task with a heart of love for God and others, you are ministering. This is your faith in action. This is ministry.
When you send a kind note- ministry.
When you prepare or buy a meal- ministry.
When you hug a friend or your children- ministry.
When you take the time to stop and be intentional in a simple prayer- ministry.
When you hold the door open for a stranger-ministry.
When you share a smile or a laugh with someone who may be feeling down- ministry.
The list is exhaustive, but you get my point.
Now let me encourage you more with God’s Word.
The Great Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Mark 12:28-34 ESV (The Bold and italics are my own.)
Read it and read it again. The Great commandments are simple- Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. How do you do this? By attending to the needs of God and His people which includes your neighbor and yourself. What does this look like? Ministry- attending to the needs of and providing for someone. Whatever that need may be.
I pray this encourages someone. When you put these definitions in action, you are ministering.
Let that sit in your spirit. Be a minister today.