What do you picture when you think of a life of ministry? Is it something spiritual giants do? Or maybe only something God really expects a pastor to have time for? In Hebrews 5:11-14 the author says that all of his readers “ought to be teachers” by now.
He doesn’t mean that every believer has to be a Sunday School teacher. However, just like all parents teach their children, each believer should be involved in other’s lives to the point that they teach them what God has done in their spiritual growth. If you want to read more about the basics of spiritual growth, you might want to check out my first two posts about it here and here.
This sounds intimidating if you don’t see yourself as a leader or teacher, but it doesn’t have to be. So I put together a list of 5 ways you can make your life a ministry to others that points them towards Jesus.
5 Ways to Point others Towards Jesus to Make Your Life a Ministry
1. Look for someone to pour into.
Odds are, there is someone in your church who needs a friend. This can look like mentoring, discipleship, peer to peer friendship, older to younger woman guidance or something totally different. I have been on both the receiving and giving end of this.
A few years ago, I realized that as much as I was having a pity party about being lonely, there were others just as lonely around me. I began to reach out to other moms in my community. We supported each other through having babies, husbands losing jobs, trying terrible twos and many other things. For the most part our group was just a regular place to meet and be friends.
But a necessary part of a group like that, is someone to be there every week. It was a sacrifice at times to set aside my time as a mom of young children to be available each week, including the weeks I didn’t feel particularly like I needed it. But God was at work. Through the several years of leading the mommy group, there were anywhere from two to five moms each week who would come to let their kids play. However, there were also some weeks only one mom would come. It might seem like a great week to cancel, but I noticed that there was always a reason that one mom needed to be there.
One week I sat with a mom while she cried because her husband had been fired over the weekend. Another time I listened while a mom processed a surprise pregnancy when she thought their family was already complete. With their kids distracted by playing with mine, they had a breath to process something important in their lives. Make your life about others and you will find that God takes care of your needs too.
2. Be intentional with your relationships.
We all love to sit with a friend that we click with and have a cup of coffee or a girl’s night. Those things are so important. If you don’t have a friendship like that, give that request to God!
At the same time. Look for a friendship that isn’t about you. Maybe that’s a younger mom who is struggling because family lives far away. Maybe that’s an older widow that you can visit once a week to keep her company. Some of the most blessed friendships that I have had, have been ones that I didn’t expect to be very close at all.
3. Do something practical for someone.
Take someone a meal in your church. Babysit a young child so that mom can attend a Bible Study at church, help someone move, or pick up prescriptions for someone who is sick or had surgery. I love that grocery stores have added grocery pick up! Someone who can’t get out can put in their grocery order and you can pick it up for them. Listen for practical needs that you can fill. Sometimes simply asking someone what they need will let them know that you care, even if there isn’t anything you can do.
4. Give the same grace you have received.
When we got married, Ken and I made a rule. If something that he did or said could be taken on two ways- and one of those ways isn’t offensive, that’s what he meant. It’s a great rule. We have since extended it to include the things I do and say, and I now try to apply it to all my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I have to shake my head sometimes at the things that people get offended by. For some reason it seems that once offended, a person can talk freely about it to almost anyone except the person who originally offended them. So many things could be resolved by a simple conversation, or even a simple shrug of shoulders.
Minister to others by giving them grace, even if you feel they don’t deserve it. Note, I’m not talking about abusive actions or blatantly degrading words. I’m saying that if there is a way to look at words or actions and find that in five years these won’t be a big deal in your life, go ahead and set them aside today.
5. It’s not about you.
Are you sensing a theme here? Let me just put it plainly. This isn’t about you. Jesus demonstrated the way to put others ahead of himself more perfectly than anyone. If you find yourself resisting a chance to make your life a ministry, remind your self of how comfortable the cross was. Likely you can share your faith in a far more comfortable way than your Savior did.
Don’t Forget Why.
Sure it’s nice to take someone a meal. It’s fun to make a new friend. However, the reason to make your life a ministry goes beyond those things. Don’t forget your ‘why!’ If you are ministering to an unbeliever, you are not just taking them meals, you are taking them the gospel. Pray continually that God will give you opportunities to share your faith. In the case of a fellow believer, love them as Christ loves the church. Encourage one another so that you can share the gospel.
What are some practical ways that someone has ministered to you in the past?