So I know we’ve been talking about taking a step toward doing what you were called to do because you have a unique place in the Kingdom and God put unique gifts and talents inside you and He has a plan and a purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). Today I’d like you to take a few minutes to think about (and perhaps journal about) what makes your heart sing. In other words, what are you doing when you are the happiest? And if you haven’t already found your ministry calling, is that thing that makes you happy something you could translate into a ministry opportunity?
I know this can be an abstract thought, so let me give you an example. I’m an artist. That’s one of the talents God gave me. When I’m creating something, I can sometimes get lost in it — like I can lose track of time (time does not exist! I look up and maybe an hour has gone by and I hardly noticed), I enjoy every aspect of the process of creating, and it just makes my heart happy. When I get busy with the other requirements of life and put doing something creative aside for a time, (like if I go a few months without doing any art) I feel like something is missing. Making art is so much a part of me that I miss it and I can sometimes get a little cranky because I’m missing that creative outlet. It’s something I need on so many levels. I can’t really explain it very well LOL so maybe it’s not a great example, but it’s something I’ve become aware of in the past few years that I realized I’m much happier when I’m doing something creative on a regular basis. I can’t shove it aside and pretend it doesn’t exist. I can’t just do my job and say, “I don’t have time” to be an artist when that’s who God made me to be.
I’ve accepted that being an artist is ingrained deeply in who I am. So I am intentional about being creative and spending time on art — even if I only have 30 minutes, I’ll do a quick sketch, jot down an idea, or do some gel plate printing (because you can crank out a lot of designs in 30 minutes!!). Writing this blog is part of that commitment to creating because writing is definitely within my “art range.” Making graphics and videos is another aspect of that. (and sometimes I don’t feel like making graphics for fun because I make graphics for work LOL so that doesn’t count because that’s work — I still have a need to make art for the fun of it).
So over the past few years, (and recently this has been on my heart again which is why I’m sharing it here), I’ve tried to find ways to incorporate creative work into how I serve the Kingdom. Because why would God give me these gifts if I wasn’t meant to use them to bring glory to Him? I’ve always seen my mission to use my gifts and abilities to bring glory to God in any way I can, but recently, I’ve felt God leading me to a more specific vision statement for my ministry work. So for whatever reason, it’s becoming more and more clear to me the direction God wants me to go.
Which brings me back to my first thought. What area makes your heart sing? Is that an area you can expand in for the Kingdom of God? Maybe it’s not a tangible talent like art or music, but maybe it’s hospitality. Maybe you absolutely love cooking meals and bringing it to people who have experienced tragedy. Maybe your joy comes in listening to others and being a supportive shoulder and a compassionate heart filled with empathy and understanding. Maybe you get excited about learning and sharing what you’ve read with friends. Maybe you love to teach, or encourage, or write hand-written notes to friends. Maybe you love praying for others or you feel like God gives you a certain scripture for a friend to encourage them. Maybe you love cleaning (not me! haha), or fitness, or making cards, or calling someone on the phone. It doesn’t have to be what you would think of as “traditional,” it just has to be you. And you may be surprised, but I bet whatever this thing is, that it’s already within you. It’s very likely something that’s always been there and if you’re not already using it for the Kingdom, perhaps you discounted it and thought it’s not valuable or doesn’t fit someone’s definition of ministry, so you set it aside. Just because I’m not singing on stage doesn’t negate what God gave me. It doesn’t disqualify my ministry just because it’s not what you’d call “traditional.”
This week, I was talking with a friend who’s an electrician. His work brings him into peoples homes and it’s an open door for him to be able to minister to people one-on-one right in their homes. You wouldn’t think of being an electrician as a calling of ministry, but for him, it is! God uses each of us in our own unique ways to reach the people we can connect with.
There are people you can connect with who are waiting on you to step into that calling, that ministry, that area that maybe you didn’t think could be. If you haven’t figured out your place in ministry yet, I’d encourage you to journal about it this week and really think about what gifts God gave you and how you can expand that into a ministry. The work of the Kingdom is not just limited to being a pastor or on the worship team. We are ALL part of the Kingdom and we are ALL called to share the Gospel message. If you haven’t realized it already, YOU ARE CALLED INTO MINISTRY because Jesus commissioned all of us (Matthew 28:18-20). It’s not just for a select few, if Jesus is your Lord, you are called to do Kingdom work. Your work may not look like anyone else’s work, but that doesn’t mean it’s less valuable! And it doesn’t mean that whatever your work is that it has to be a formalized ministry of the church. Maybe you take one day a week and intentionally go pray for random people you meet at a store. Maybe you go door to door in your neighborhood with little gifts you made up as a way to start a connection, or offer prayer, or invite them to church. It doesn’t have to fit into a neat category or box. Just do what you feel God is leading you to do. You are a valuable part of the Kingdom of God. God does not make accidents. He made you on purpose for a purpose. Don’t deny what God put inside you and start to open yourself to the idea of being in ministry in your day-to-day life through the use of the gifts God already gave you!
I’d encourage you this week to read Matthew 28:18-20 and Jeremiah 29:11-14 and spend some time journaling. What is God speaking to you through these passages? What are the areas you are gifted in? Make a list. Pray about how you could begin to turn one (or some) of these areas into ministry opportunities. Ask God for guidance. The Kingdom needs you and your unique abilities!