For those of us who do not feel God’s calling in a specific ministry life or understand what witnessing or ministering to others might entail, I thought I would write my feelings on the matter based on my personal life, what I have witnessed from others, and through reading the Bible.
How does one minister to others?
That question has been circling my head this evening. How am I, being in the place that I currently live and working where I currently work, supposed to minister to those around me?
Most of us are not fortunate enough to have the spiritual gifts of teaching or preaching, so how are we to minister to others? No, we don’t have to memorize all the Bible verses and know everything there is to know of what the Bible says. The answers are right in front of your face when you start to think about it.
We minister through our lives and how we live daily. If we are living with God, speaking to Him and seeking Him daily, we are then able to discern which actions or decisions would be more godly. If we then start to live up to these godly expectations, with righteousness given through Him as we grow, then we are ministering through our lives and how we live. You have to remember that it’s not always about having a sit down with someone to speak about Christ. And even if you do talk to someone about Him you shouldn’t worry about having the right things to say or right questions to ask. God will give you the things to say when He has called you specifically for that purpose or to help a specific person, but you also need to ask. That is not to say that you have to wait around until you feel compelled for a certain person. You can ask Him for guidance in speaking about Him on a regular basis throughout your life, to whomever you come across.
But otherwise in the world, we show it with how we live, what we surround ourselves with, how we talk, and how we act or treat others. If we’re living just as worldly as everyone else, do you think that they’ll start to listen to you when you suddenly speak of the Father? Do you think they’ll see what sets you apart and how only true peace can come from Him? I’ve thought about this concerning with my work place quite often. I’ve even realized that with how I was living in the past most people I am around find it odd or don’t really have anything to say if I bring up anything dealing with God or the Bible. They think it seems “out of character” of me to even speak of what I believe. Which is my own fault because of how I used to live. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be turned around for His purposes and that others wont start to see changes in my life that can only be explained by my relationship through Christ.
I’ve found that as I read the Bible every day now it’s about all I want to talk about most of the time. I don’t care about what TV shows are playing, which movies are out, about the newest pop sensation, and any views I have in regards to what’s going on in the world usually get strange looks from everyone else (because of the insight we are given through Him in regards to the world).
It can be discouraging and disheartening at times to not be able to share your excitement for what God is doing in your life but you just have to keep moving forward and remember to pray for those around you. You never know whose heart God might open up or soften in regards to something you may have said or done.
Speaking of prayer: Prayer is one of the biggest parts of ministering, in my opinion. If you’re not regularly speaking to God and allowing Him time to communicate with you, how will you know what He would have you do? I talk to Him constantly in my head while I’m at work, in the shower, outside with the dogs, in my room, and even now I’m asking that I’ll be able to write the right words in this post in hopes that it might help someone else, though I realize I’m probably writing this for myself more than anything. (I’ve also even asked him if he ever gets tired of hearing me yammer on and on throughout the day. I don’t think he minds that and would rather hear from me constantly than never at all.) Take the time to listen to him and ask what he would have you say. Ask where he wants you to be and how you can help those around you. Ask him to open the eyes and soften the hearts of those you would like to spread his word to.
The other biggest part in ministering is knowing what the Bible says. It isn’t just a book of stories and uplifting verses; it is a tool for us to learn from those in the past. How God worked in their lives, how they communicated, mistakes to avoid and things to look out for, etc. As I’ve been reading lately I’ve found myself immersed in the stories, like a novel that you can’t put down. I will admit that reading through Genesis to Numbers was slightly daunting at times and was difficult to get through, but I realized later on that it actually really helped me once I started getting to the stories and lives of others. It was helpful in knowing what kind of sacrifices were required for repentance of their sins or what they were referring to when mentioning the tabernacle, which most of us know what it was but you really come to appreciate it. You get to learn how detailed God can be and how significant even the little things can seem. That goes for us as well as we often can feel insignificant, we have to remember that God pays attention to all the details.
I’ve learned through stories of king Saul and the decisions he made when he didn’t heed to God’s commands. I’ve learned about the personal covenants he made with people and their families, how he blessed them, took things away with they took advantage, and even destroyed those who completely turned their backs on them (face it, they had it coming with some of the things they did). And believe it or not, it can really help you relate in your personal life when things come up. I’ve found myself just this week pleading with the Lord about situations I am so sick of and finally realized some of the iniquities that others went through in the past and how miniscule my pleads must sound in comparison. In a nutshell, I’ve had to suck it up and deal with some things while I’m waiting for his word that I can move on.
So back to the initial question, how do we minister to others?
Through talking to God and reading his words to help us > living our lives the way He wants us to > which helps us become an example to others > praying for opportunities to speak to them about Him > praying for the words to say > asking Him to work in their hearts.
It’s really not as difficult as one might think. You never know, God might use you and your words to plant a seed in the heart of someone around you who doesn’t seem interested, which later allows for them to get to know Him for themselves.
Don’t lose sight of what is most important, which is being able to share what He has done for all of us while still seeking him on our own.
And don’t get discouraged when someone doesn’t seem interested or turns you down. Yes, we are all called to share but you just have to keep praying for those around you who want nothing to do with it all, don’t let it consume you and try to convince them over and over.
Leave room for God to work in their lives.
1 Kings 10:1-9
(1) And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
(2) And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
(3) And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
(4) And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built,
(5) And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
(6) And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
(7) Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
(8) Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
(9) Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.