Monday, July 22, 2013

Are you looking at Him?

The other night, my son cut his hand, so he and I spent several hours at the ER for his treatment. We watched TV, laughed and joked, and just generally had about as good a time as possible. Then came our turn for treatment. The doctor had to clean the wounds to prevent infection and sew up the damage.

But before he could do that, he needed to numb up my son's hand. When the doc pulled out a needle the size of a railroad spike, my son got very tense. When he started jabbing the needle in multiple places and injecting the anesthetic, my son tensed up even more and looked like he was going to bolt out of the room!

So I took his other hand in mine, turned his head to look toward me and made a show of breathing slowly and deeply. In only a few seconds, my son had relaxed, was looking only at me and was matching my breathing.

A common situation similar to this is during childbirth. The mother focuses on the father, who is speaking calmly to her, holding her hand and helping her focus on something besides the struggle in her life.

Peter knew a little about this type of situation. Jesus walks up to the boat, and Peter's mouth writes a check that he soon has to try to cash. Peter steps out of the boat, and walks toward Jesus...until Peter puts his attention on the storm, not the One who controls the storm. Peter sinks and cries out in desperation..until Jesus pulls Peter's focus back to HIM.

Our lives face these storms every day. Whether a cut hand, an arriving baby, a job loss or just a simple bad day at work...the storms will overwhelm us and distract us if we are not careful. Remember, our focus must always be on the One who has power over the storms. He will walk beside us and lead us through the storms! And we, as Christians, must make sure that we point those around us to Him too!

Monday, July 8, 2013

What IS Ministry?

I was having a conversation with @PartTime_YP the other day on Twitter. He commented that his pastor and church leadership basically viewed him as just a babysitter who had no experience doing "real ministry."

That got me to thinking about what would be the true definition OF ministry? Is it being able to preach? Is it being able to implement a multi-level strategy? Is it managing the staff of a church? Could it possibly be leading a choir, as in a Music Minister? Is ministry simply the obtainment of a seminary degree?

While considering this, I remembered a quote on leadership that @ToddAdkins shares frequently: When your people stop bringing you their problems, you've stopped leading them.

Based on my review of Scripture, here is the definition that I compiled for what ministry is:


Walking side by side with another human being as they go through the struggles, trials and triumphs of life as you lovingly speak biblical truth to their situations while consistently pointing them to the bloody cross, the empty tomb and fulfilled hope of salvation through Jesus Christ and encouraging them to follow Him in spirit, word and deed.

IF this description of ministry is accurate, then ANYONE can do ministry. You know more about the Bible than SOMEONE around you. You most likely know more about the Bible than a LOT of people around you.

I would love to hear your thoughts, what do YOU believe is the definition of "ministry"?