I went eight months without really doing any sort of ministry. It was really difficult for me. Ministry wasn’t just my job; it was something that had been a part of my life since I was 13. My first ministry opportunity was running the tape deck for our children’s choir at church. I’m grateful that CDs weren’t ubiquitous or I may not have had the chance to fast forward and rewind for Jesus.
Fast forward to last October when I left my job at the church and I didn’t have any ministry to do. For the first time in over 20 years there wasn’t any outlet, however miniscule, for me to serve God. Sure I was writing and interacting with people, but those weren’t the same as doing ministry, as moving chairs or hanging out with students.
I knew it was only a season, though; eventually it would end. But as the months passed by I wondered if that end would ever come. Earlier this month it finally did.
A couple at our church, two of my good friends actually, started a small group for young adults. Our church had been neglecting that group for a long time, but this couple decided to step up and help young people transition into adulthood. Last month I asked about the possibility of hanging out and helping with the small group. To my great joy I was able to come on board.
It’s only been two weeks, but I’m already having the time of my life. I missed ministry but I didn’t know how much I missed it until I started doing it again. Granted a bible study two hours a week isn’t nearly as involved as I once was, but even a small taste of water is welcome when one has been wandering through the desert.
I’ve already had an amazing moment with our group. We were discussing James 1 and what it means to persevere. Often, once we’ve walked through a trial, we can look back and see how God was working. I asked how we could see God working in the midst of the trial.
One of the students shared that she should take some to really sit and listen to God. That instead of just complaining and asking “why,” she should really create space to seriously ask God why and listen to his response. I was floored by her response and asked her if this was a new thought or something that she’d thought about before. She said it was entirely new in that moment.
How awesome is that?! I got to be there when someone thought about contemplative spirituality for the first time! She was basically talking about creating space and silence in her life to really hear from God. That was so cool; a moment I am going to remember for a long time.
I like moments like that because I’ve had a few of them myself, moments when God parted the heavens and decided to bless me with a small sliver of clarity. I’m pretty hardheaded so I’ve needed moments like that to help me become more like Jesus. I was grateful to be present for someone else’s moment.
Ministry is awesome.
When has ministry encouraged you?