Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ministry

There are certain, shall I say, grandiose moments of ministry.

The symphonic choir anthem, the solo whose notes soar into the sanctuary and words into hearts, the well thought out and inspiring sermon, the perfectly planned and executed event, the challenging Bible study in which students leave anxious to learn out more.

Of course there are also the private moments - the desk of a pastor with tomes of knowledge, or windows of the Internet, opened as a sermon is prepared, the shuffle of music as a choir works through new pieces, the arrangement of chairs as the Sunday school room is readied, the plinking of piano keys as new music is learned and the tuning of guitar strings as a worship team prepares to practice.

And then there are those moments that seem most unlike what could be considered "ministry"...

This occurred to me as I was making a billion copies for Sunday school - okay, not a billion, more like a few hundred.

The morning found me in Saturday clothes, which are very unlike the "going to church clothes", kneeling on the floor of the church office collating booklets for Sunday's classes. Later that evening I was busy cutting up construction paper into circles and strips.

I've seen people emptying the buckets of water collected from the leaking roof, and mopping the floors after an event, sorting the paper plates and plastic silverware in preparation for a dinner, and one searching through graphics for just the right picture for a church publication, certainly these cannot be considered ministry.

If there was anyone who experienced the "grandiose" moments of ministry it was Christ. He raised the dead, healed of the diseased and lame, fed crowds of thousands; all spectacular moments of ministry bringing great honor to God in a very public way.

But it was also our Lord who knelt to wash the feet of his disciples: the lowliest, most unimpressive form of "ministry" ever. Their feet were the filthiest part of these men; caked with the mud and dung from the roads they'd traveled that day.
There was no glory in this action, no prestige; this was just work, duty, a job that must be done, a very lowly, and demeaning task.

Yet...
Yet, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Messiah, the Almighty took it upon himself to do this task - to minister in this way and in so doing exalted all the things we do with a heart to honor God, as service that pleases Him.

So as you and I go about the things we do because we love our Lord, as we seek to minister to his people and to bring others to know Him, know that if your service is public, or private, an influential event or a menial task, that the attitude of your heart is what brings the most honor to God, no matter how grandiose the service.

"Moreover it is required in stewards,
that a man be found faithful"
I Corinthians 4:2

"We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God,
who regards not the greatness of the work,
but the love with which it is performed."
Brother Lawence

1 comment:

aspiemom said...

A Big Amen from me! I totally agree! I think the flashy ones don't count as much. Yeah, that means a lot coming from someone who's up there singing most Sundays.

But I mean it. In Zechariah, it says "Despise not the day of small things."

I love that verse.

Hope I see you soon (hint hint)

chrisd from Coffee Break!