As a young adult, I often get questions like: “What are you doing with your life?” “Are you going to school?” “What are you interested in?” And so on. My response as of late tends to be “I’m interested in ministry and currently keep a devotional blog called So I Fix My Eyes…” However, after a recent conversation with my mom about future life goals and passions, I began pondering what ministry actually means.
When we hear the word ministry, we might think of an established non-profit organization that seeks to relieve the suffering of the world in Jesus’ name, translates Bibles into obscure languages, or equip the saints for living life in a fallen and darkening world. We often view in our minds an organized and large group of people working together for the common good of the church. Or maybe we think of pastors, worship leaders, and people who hold an official church office.
But what if ministry is more than that?
Jesus never referred to His work on this earth as “ministry.” In fact, when referencing what He was doing, He called it “being about my Father’s business.” I love this! It takes the focus away from the work and places it on who it is for—God.
The problem with our 21st century view of ministry is that we think in numbers. We believe the bigger the better. The more people impacted, the more influential. We tend to believe that statistics reflect impact. Therefore, we’re constantly seeking the secret formula on how to expand our audience, bring more people in, or widen our reach. We join the marketing game of seeking out what people want and how best to interest them.
But Jesus was never interested in all this! He didn’t care about numbers but actually disliked the large crowds that followed Him. He didn’t worry about what people thought, how they reacted, or how many times they “liked” what He said. He didn’t send out pamphlets announcing where He’d be when and what His ministry was all about.
No. Jesus only listened to His Father and acted upon His directions. He was given an assignment and tasks to perform and He did them. He was going about His Father’s business.
Sadly, I don’t believe modern ministries can claim the same thing. I would not confidently say that Christian organizations, churches, and ministries do things based entirely on the Holy Spirit’s leading and not on popular opinion.
But we can change things.
Let’s stop using the term “ministry” and start saying “God’s work” or “the Father’s business.” Let’s take the focus off people and the work itself and put it back on God and His purposes. Let’s stop looking at numbers, statistics, and formulas and starting looking at God. Let’s close our mind and ears to man’s numerous opinions and the clamor of the world and instead listen intently for God’s still small voice and the Holy Spirit’s gentle leading.
Let’s start going about our Father’s business, shall we?
So what part of God’s work has the Holy Spirit led you to? Or if you’re younger and haven’t started yet, where do you feel He’s calling you?
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