This past week has been spent mowing grass, washing trash cans and hauling gravel at the Black Forest Academy campuses to prepare for the school year and to make some simple, sweat-equity improvements. It’s hard work, but these days of sweating and straining have brought two things to mind, 1) the way I and many believers have unjustly elevated certain jobs and ministries over others, and 2) the way we distort and misunderstand ministry.
One thing that the Holy Spirit is doing in the 21st Century church is leveling the playing field when it comes to leadership. Check out the organizational chart in some of today’s most effective churches and you’ll find that it is a lot flatter than in the past. It’s not just the staff, pastors and a hierarchy of leaders who are making a difference. It’s the congregation who is having a real impact in the local community and around the globe. Praise the Lord that ministry is no longer the sole (or soul) responsibility of the pastor!
Being a minister is not about a degree a salary or a title. It’s about sharing the hope of the gospel by stepping out from behind the comfortable walls we’ve built and into the challenging spots where God has placed us. Then… BAM!, we plant our feet in the enemy’s territory answering the Great Commission by reclaiming that place as the Lord’s! You are there and you represent Him.
Whether you are in the board room or working third shift on the Tyson processing line, claim that place as the Lord’s! Whether you are designing and building the newest elder-care facility, or if you’ll be the one cleaning out the patient’s bed pans, you are a minister, a missionary, a Kingdom worker reclaiming and restoring that which was lost. You are representing The Coming King!
If we are mowing, teaching, selling, serving, coaching, washing, leading, hauling or sweating, let’s be an expression of God’s love for the world. We are not here to sit and wait for some magic moment or rapture, but to be a faithful reflection of hope among the lost and broken. Work hard, give God the glory and pray for His renewal in your life and others.
In the coming days as I grab my shovel, pick up the wheelbarrow, or pull the starter cord on the mower, I’ll think of you, faithful brothers and sisters, you who are my co-laborers with Christ. Grace and peace as you step out into the world for the work that lies ahead.
Some supporting Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 9:10, Psalm 90:16-17, Ephesians 4:28, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3