Embracing our ministries

One growing conviction that I have is that people need to embrace their role in the spectrum of how people approach God. That is, some people have a real talent for spotting hurting people and establishing a connection with them. Others have a gift for explaining theology in ways ordinary people can understand. There are people who have the ability to feel and convey a sense of urgency regarding our need to reconcile with God; others have the patience for working with new Christians.

We all need to grow in these different areas, yet I feel that each of us will always have one or two areas in which we excel. We need to embrace that.

What does that mean?

  • We seek to identify the ministry that God has gifted with us, looking to use it to help people draw closer to God.
  • We observe the body we are a part of, affirming and enabling others as they exercise their ministries. We don’t call them to do ours, nor deride ourselves for not having their ministry. We embrace our ministry and help others do the same.
  • We work in a concerted way with other Christians to make our ministries glorify God by helping the Kingdom grow in three directions: inward, outward, upward.

We have different areas of service, but those ministries are to mesh together in a coordinated way. It’s not about what I do, nor what you do. It’s about what the body does. And one of the main things the body does is help people get closer to God. We do that through bringing in outsiders, discipling new Christians, and enabling the ministries of all believers.

2 thoughts on “Embracing our ministries

  1. Harland Rall

    Tim, I know that my reaction is very late. But, I hope you can get to it in due time. How is your comment different from the strong emphasis years ago of questionnaires and prayers regarding our personal gifts?

    In a related story, some years ago I sat in a meeting on Make a Difference Day for Abilene. Janet Ardoyno was the spearhead. And had done an amazing job in the earlier years of building rapport and energy throughout the city. When it came turn for me to speak, her question was the same that she had asked the 10 or so people before me: “What do you want to do?” Her agenda was to empower us leaving the responsibility for planning and action to us–for our project. Her “method” was very engaging. Some 50 members from our church ended up as volunteers for our project. And I think that the total number of Abilene volunteers that year was over 35,000. Pretty good for a city of 120,000.

    My thoughts are that the story has some direct implications for the church. We try to create program after program. And then, when we have some established programs, it is hard to maintain the number of volunteers and staff. Is there an alternative?


  2. Tim Archer Post author

    The main differences I see are:
    (a) This post is specifically looking at gifts as related to outreach;
    (b) Surveys can’t help but limit the possible gifts/ministries. I think people need freedom to discover from a wider gamut of possibilities.

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