The Ministry of Life
Last year, I took on a new job that easily began to consume my energy, time, and attention. Because of this, I quickly began feeling drained and less ministry-minded. I hated that something was stealing my attention and focus from my top priority. The balance of life and ministry was like a pendulum. I was swinging in from Bible college, ready to be elbows deep in ministry in a new city, but still needed to be realistic about finding a sustainable job and making a living. I found myself in a career that can be consuming at times. Education requires so much of one’s time and attention. I was grappling, trying to find the balance between work and church—my ministry and my job.
I was consulting/complaining to my “iron sharpens iron” friend about it, and she quickly checked my spirit and said “but your work is part of your ministry. You somehow forgot that.” Wherever you are is where you’re supposed to be for this time. God does all things well. As obvious as it was, I had lost sight of where God had placed me and began to question His reasoning.
The more I have thought and prayed about it, the more I realize she was speaking truth into me when the enemy was trying to whisper lies. I had begun to box God’s work into an event that happens when I clock out or that happens on the weekends. I fell prey to the silly thinking we so often think we aren’t prone to.
Struggling to pull the pendulum back towards ministry-mindedness, I began to gradually find the balance in a life of ministry. Instead of trying to separate the two, I began to ask God to help me see one as a means of the other. I allowed God to use me on the job rather than waiting until I was off to shift into “ministry mode.”
We have been placed in various roles and positions for God’s glory. Christians should be the most honest, hardworking, and integrity-filled employees in the workforce. We work as unto the Lord, not as unto man. We work for His glory, not our own. We want His favor on our lives, not man’s favor. We are also here to be salt and light. We are here to preserve and illuminate. For a light to valuable, it must be visible.
When I started praying these prayers, I quickly began to have encounters at work that were God-designed. Carefully coordinated conversations about God and ways to share His truth became much more prevalent when I started seeing “the field” in front of me. Why do we sometimes overlook the hungry people staring us in the eye while seeking opportunities to minister elsewhere?
To my fellow young minister who feels called to full-time ministry, but full-time ministry isn’t in God’s will for this season, continue in faithfulness. God knows where you are right now and His call to minister does not lessen depending on where we are.
Do not underestimate the value of a season. Do not get so caught up looking forward to the next season or searching for the next opportunity that you completely miss what God had planned for this one. Pray the prayer, “God help me to learn all I can from this season so I may be prepared for Your work in the next one. Don’t let me miss what You are trying to do through me, in me, and with me.”
The greatest disservice we could do to God’s will and His kingdom is to have a misguided focus because we are so consumed with getting to the next thing. Trying to escape the now because where God has us now isn’t good enough for us. For now, as young ministers and young leaders in the church, let’s be focused on deepening our walk and ministry where we are and let God broaden it as He sees fit. When we focus on ourselves, our goals, and our lives too much, we become shallow and ill-suited for God’s work.
Let’s yield our “now” to Him and follow where He leads. In the end, I promise you will be amazed at where He takes you. He can do far more with you than you can ever achieve on your own. He has a purpose for you being where you are right this instant. The people you work next to every day are just as in need of God’s grace as the people you find walking into your church on Sunday. Join me in surrendering every part of our lives to Him and completely, entirely, wholly trust in His plan.
As you finish up reading this tidbit from my heart today, read through the words to the song “Fresh Anointing” by The Wilbanks and meditate on God’s Word as He leads to live a life of deeper sacrifice, consecration, and service in this season.
Lyrics and music by The Wilbanks
When responsibilities and my everyday needs
leave me no time to share,
can I say I really care?
When I learn to live unselfishly
and see the needs beyond what pleases me,
then I can truly say I lived for You today.
Fresh anointing fall on me,
Open my eyes to see a world
beyond my own need,
A world that’s lost and hurting.
Burden me with an understanding
to live beyond thoughts of complacency
Let me live beyond my own need.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).
Sarah is the Hyphen contributor for InsideOut and a recent graduate of Urshan College. She is now happily married to Jordan Hudspeth with whom she serves the Hyphen group at The Life Center in Saint Petersburg, Florida. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.