What is Your Role in Ministry?

by Greg West

our-humble-godDo you have a desire to serve God in ministry but wonder why God hasn’t called you to some specific area of ministry? Are you waiting for some kind of miraculous sign, like a phone call from God saying something like, “I want you to be a missionary to Haiti”? There are many people in ministry who have feel that they have a very specific calling to one particular ministry or another, but others of us have a tendency to put off ministry because something similar has not yet happened with us. But guess what? You don’t have to sit around waiting for that calling because you’re already called to ministry.

Jesus himself set the perfect example of what it means to be a servant in John chapter thirteen when he washes the disciple’s feet, after which he tells them, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Jesus is not saying here that we are to literally go around washing each other’s feet. He is using this as an illustration of what it means to be a servant. Although, to some people this is a literal calling. I’ve read about a group of Christian volunteers who set up foot washing stations and invite the homeless from their city to come and have their feet washed. Just think about how hard on your feet it would be if you lived on the street and could not afford new socks and shoes or bathe at regular intervals.

These volunteers scrub and wash the feet of these unfortunate people; they trim their toenails and perform whatever other foot care is needed, and they also supply them with fresh socks, and even shoes whenever they are able. They also offer them coffee, soup, and sandwiches. They don’t preach to the people they serve, but they offer a kind ear to anyone who needs someone to talk to, and they pray for and with anyone who asks. This is an amazing ministry and I suspect that God has a special reward in Heaven reserved for people like these.

My point is that you do not have to wait for a special revelation from God because it has already been given in the Word. Romans 12:3-8 says:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

All you have to do is look for a need, and then fill it. I am sure that there are several volunteer opportunities at your church that you would be perfect for. Some of these might be thankless jobs, but remember, we offer our service to others not to be seen by men, but by God, who sees us in whatever we do and will reward us accordingly. You may not be the right one to be the lead guitar player or singer in the worship band, but you might be the right person to help out in the nursery or with mowing the lawn.

I play the drums and I remember feeling a little dejected when I tried out for the worship band but the director didn’t think I was good enough. And she was right. I’m a mediocre drummer at best, so I took it in stride, realizing that my talents were best served elsewhere. Just today I was reading Andy Pierson’s blog Souljournaler. Andy has a fantastic talent for writing and sharing Christ with others through his blog. I started thinking about how I wished that I was half the writer that Andy is when I felt God’s voice saying, “I already have an ‘Andy Pierson’, what I need is ‘Greg West’.”

Ministry doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to take place in the church. Ministry can be something as simple as raking the leaves for your elderly neighbor or being a good friend to someone who needs one. Take Betty, a former Sunday school teacher of mine for example. Before she passed on, Betty, a widow, eked out a meager living working as a hairdresser from her home. Several times a week for many years she would ride the city bus to various senior living facilities and give free haircuts to the elderly. That’s ministry, folks.

To quote an article from AllAboutGod.com, “There is no magic formula or spiritual gift test that can tell you what gifts of the Spirit you possess. What we need to focus on is serving God. Do you see a need in your church? Do what you can to meet it. Is there a position in a ministry that is vacant? Pray as to whether God would have you fill it. If we seek God’s will and obey His leading, He will always equip us with whatever gifts of the Spirit we need.”

Remember that ultimately, ministry is an act of worship, and that when we offer of ourselves in service to others it is an act of worship to God. I’ll leave you with that thought and with one final quote; a favorite of mine from Bono: “Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing. Get in on what God’s doing because it’s already blessed.”

The Poached Egg

Recommended Resources:Made to Count: Discovering What to Do with Your Life | When There’s No Burning Bush: Following Your Passions to Discover God’s Call