I’m in Ministry?
The question: “Would you mind writing a piece for the blog I set up? It’s designed to encourage women in ministry, written by women in ministry.” As you might guess, this is the article resulting from that question, but “yes” was not my immediate response. The very first thing that came to my mind was, “Why is she asking me? I’m not in ministry.”
Well, sure, I write articles for a ministry website and my own blog; I mentor and encourage other women; I go on one or two mission trips a year; and I occasionally speak at women’s retreats and events. And though in the past I have been a women’s ministry director, I don’t have any kind of certificate or degree that would indicate that I’m qualified “to minister.” My degree is in communications, although when asked, my husband tells people that I majored in talking.
As a result of my initial response, a barrage of questions came to mind: “What will it take for me to believe that I’m in ministry? When will I be comfortable saying I’m a speaker and a writer? When will I value what I do – what God has called me to do?” Because I don’t receive a regular income, I seem to have this misguided idea that what I’m doing is not valuable. And yet, I find nowhere in the Bible that says “until you have a degree in Biblical studies, or make “x” amount of money at sharing my Word, can you say you’re in ministry.”
What I do see is Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians saying, “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3). Every day the Spirit of God is using the “letter” of your life and mine to write on human hearts. Think about it! Whether or not YOU feel as though your efforts are valuable enough, God says, “When you let Me shine through you, lives will be changed because of My Spirit living in you!”
Recently, God showed me this truth in a manner that blew my socks off! In June, I was on vacation with my mom, her friend, and her friend’s daughter, Sarah. Sarah and I got along great and although she was interested in the things I do, she made it clear that she did not want anything to do with a life surrendered to Christ. To be honest, I really had no intention of “witnessing” to Sarah, but I certainly wasn’t going to act differently than I do on a daily basis either. Imagine my surprise when six weeks later she told me that, though she’d been angry with God for many years, she’d given her life back to Christ, due in part to what she’d seen in me. If you heard a loud thud in the middle of July, it was probably me being knocked over by this news!
I know what Sarah saw in me was the letter that the Holy Spirit has written on my heart: the letter of salvation, hope, and joy that can only come from knowing and serving Jesus Christ. For you see, I AM in ministry, and despite the lack of value I offer myself, God has chosen to use me, and you, to let His light shine in this world.
My encouragement to you today is this: regardless of the value you put on your ministry, or whether you feel like what you do is “enough”, you need to know that God is using you in ways you can’t possibly imagine and may never see this side of eternity. You ARE making a difference.