Whether it’s helping to hand out tracts for an event at church, or playing an instrument during worship, the concept of ministry is one we face every time we step through the doors of the church. Maybe we even engage in ministry outside of Saturdays and Sundays – with the ever-increasing range of media and technology, digital ministry is yet another platform for evangelising.
From Monday to Sunday, physical to digital, practising to performing, preparing to preaching, ministry spans broadly across all aspects of our life.
But with our increasing busyness, it’s easy to forget the foundation of our ministry – the basic building blocks of why we’re spending our time and resources to serve God.
But first: what is ministry anyway?
What counts as serving God?
If you search it up, ministry comes under the definition of “the spiritual work or service of a Christian or a group of Christians, especially evangelism.”
Digging deeper into the Greek translation of the word, it defines to “”. From both definitions, we can deduce both the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of ministry – working to serve others.
But if we look into the New Testament, we can see there’s so many aspects within the very notion of ministry. Because if ministry is simply doing acts of service to others, what seperates it from the countless charities of the world?
Back to the Bible
If we read Acts 20:24, we can see that ministry forms our very identity of being Christians. “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus..”.
From this verse, we can see ministry is a divine calling – it’s not merely a good act for the sake of it, but something we’re called to do by God. This is further consolidated in the first book addressed to the Corinthians which states that “having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1). The very fact that ministry is ordained by God gives us, as His children, hope.
The author, assumed to be the apostle Luke, goes on to outline what exactly this consists of, stating that his ministry was “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
That means all the actions, all the words, and all the effort that we devote to ministry are to share the gospel of God. It’s to share the Good News. It’s to obey the Great Commission, stated by Christ Himself – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. “
Because in the end, ministry is blessing others – and what higher blessing than the very gracious salvation of Christ Himself? In the letter to the Romans, it’s written “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10:13-14)
Yet ministry is not only our duty.
As we grow in His Word, through daily devotions, meditation, bible study and weekly Sunday services, ministry becomes part of our personal growth. As we grow more and more about His character and will, so will this earnest desire for ministry in our daily lives.
Growing in the knowledge of Him is far more than just reading and memorising verses in the Bible as you would for an exam. It’s far more than just reluctant (and admittedly sleepy) early morning Bible readings.
It’s an active, conscious, and living part of our identity.
If we are to truly obey His Word, we must dedicate our all with a cheerful and willing heart to do so – even when it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable.
After all, how can we effectively share His Word with others if we don’t study and live it within our own lives first?
I’m not going to promise that deciding to engage in ministry will be easy. The Scriptures themselves promise the very opposite.
But we don’t have to do it alone.
Just like how it says in 2 Corinthians 4:1, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. “
No matter how many times you fall, and how many times you falter, know that your strength to serve others doesn’t have to come from yourself.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
He has equipped us with the Spirit to guide, His Word to instruct, His church as a community to support and encourage, and His daily Providence in even the smallest details.
And most importantly, He is with us.
So what now?
I can confidently state from my own experience that starting in ministry can often be intimidating. Maybe you’re scared of messing up, or unsure if you’re really supposed to be there. Whatever it is, don’t let it stop you.
Know that its never too late or early to start, and you can never be too young to serve Him. Paul wrote to Timothy, stating “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12), and these truths apply to us too.
If somehow this moves you to start ministry in your own life, try asking around at church to see where help and volunteers are needed. Any skill and talent you have can be used by God; from music (try volunteering to play for a youth service!) to sport (join in the next REGENZ sport event, perhaps?) or even teaching (if you can handle younger kids, try helping out during Sunday School, or, for seniors, volunteer to tutor at the weekly REGENZ study centre!).
Even if you’re not sure of your passion, you can serve in ministry in daily spheres as well; helping to carry heavy bags for an older person, helping to clean around at church, home or school, and countless other ways.
Just one reminder from your sister in Christ – don’t forget why you serve. I can testify that it’s so easy to lose sight of your purpose when you’re bogged down by countless responsibilities and stresses. That’s why it’s essential that we must continue to pray as we serve. Pray for wisdom, discretion, courage, zeal, perseverance, commitment, and love.
Let’s serve wholeheartedly together.