What is ministry? Many of us would say ministry is serving at a church. It’s easy to have an “it’s all about the church” mindset: go to church, be at church, and serve the church. While this isn’t a bad thing, we must also remember that God has also called us to get out of the church.
For almost my whole life, I thought ministry belonged to the church. I grew up going to church since a young child, and eventually grew up serving at my church. While this all was a good thing, what I failed to realize was how closed minded I became in regards to serving Christ.
I limited my abilities to serve Christ only at the church. Now, what did I do outside of church?
Nothing–besides living my ordinary work and school life.
Now looking back, I regret not taking those opportunities to share Christ to my classmates and to those around me, especially when I had the chances to do so.
My eyes have been opened to see that ministry isn’t a church thing, it’s a lifestyle.
We are all called to be followers of Jesus, whom never limited himself to serve God at the temple. He never set certain times or days to share the gospel or serve others, he did it anytime the opportunity came.
He would heal the sick and share the gospel to those he passed by. Whether at the temple or on the way to a new city, he never rejected anyone who was in need. It says in John 21:25, “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” That is how much Christ did for the kingdom of God. One Sunday and one place wouldn’t give enough time and room for Christ to do what he did.
He used every opportunity he had to heal the sick, perform miracles, and share the gospel to others. Are you using every opportunity God has given you to share the love of Christ? Are you limiting yourself in serving Christ?
Ministry is not for a certain time, place, or people. It is to be lived out in our daily lives.
We tend to choose who we want to serve, when we want to serve, and where we want to serve. We set certain times and days of the week for when we want to serve. However, we are called to serve Christ whenever we see the opportunity to do so.
We are called to go into the dark and be the light, to save the lost and set the oppressed free. This all will require us to get out of the Church and go into the lost world we live in.
Jesus knew his purpose on this earth, for he says in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, ..to set the oppressed free.” This is our greater calling on earth – to bring the freedom of Christ to those who do not yet know him.
Jesus knew he was needed more by those who were lost than found, which is why he said in Luke 4:24, “..No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” He didn’t belong in his hometown where everyone already knew who he was, he knew his greater calling was to go out and into dark to reach the lost.
Just as Jesus was called to reach the lost, so are we.
The Church is a great place to serve Christ, but there are many other people outside the church that God has placed in your life for you to share Christ. Don’t stay in your comfort zone, but get out and go to the dark places where you will find many who are lost. It’s in the dark where Christ will shine the brightest.
Let ministry be your lifestyle. When you show patience to your family, love to your spouse, or kindness to a stranger, that is ministry. Even spending time with non-believers and sharing God’s love to them is counted as ministry. Open your hearts to see that God has called you to be his witnesses to all over the world (Acts 1:8). So remember, get out of the church and share his light to the world.