Full time ministry is something that is often looked to as a goal or as "real" ministry.
”For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” [Eph. 2:10]
When you think of your Christian life, what do think of your service? Do you see yourself as just trying to get through life, as you struggle with everyday problems, not much different from anyone else? Would you consider yourself to be in full time ministry?
Most of us would probably say, “no.” However, I have good news for you, if you are a Christian, you are in full time ministry. That is now your lifestyle whether you realize it or not. You may think, “Well, I attend church and help out when I can.” That’s not what I’m talking about. Everything you do is ministry. Relating the love of God to your spouse, children, or grandchildren is ministry. Taking good care of the home is ministry. Being faithful and productive on the job - whatever it is - is ministry. You are a minister to everyone you come in contact with each day. It may be having coffee with your neighbour, it may be smiling and praying for the person who curses and teases you at work. You are in full time ministry.
God has designed our lives that they would be ones of ministry [or service]. Too often we think of ministry as pastor, teacher, evangelist, etc. No, those people [and others] are to train us to be ministers in our everyday lives and circumstances. Ministry is not some “spiritual,” elite thing. It is a natural part of our lives. We do it, often, without even thinking about it or realizing that we are doing it!
God has given us gifts and tools to use in the area of ministry He has given us. Some churches believe these tools no longer exist [i.e. died out with the apostles]. More often churches imply, intentionally or unintentionally, that these gifts/tools are for use in the church only. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because of this many people feel that they have to use gifts in the church setting or not at all.
When do you need a Word of Wisdom most? When you are sitting on a church pew or answering your children’s questions about sex and drugs? When do you need the gift of Faith most? When you are listening to a sermon or wondering how to pay your tithes and most of the bills? When do you need the gift of Healing most? In the church or when a fellow worker - yes, even an unbeliever! - slices his hand open at work? I think you get the idea. Its not that they are wrong in the church setting, but their MAIN use is out there in your everyday life. We need to change our thinking.
And your full time ministry and using the gifts is not some “spooky” emotional, spiritual, “have to work myself up for” type of thing. It is not something to be scared of. It is very natural.
You and I are spirits living in a body. Everything we do is spiritual in some sense of the word. Yes, gift/tools have to be developed and we will be more able to use some tools than others, but we need to trust God that He will give us what He wants us to have at the moment of need. Peter didn’t walk on water before Christ called him. As far as I know, he never walked on water again either; however, in God’s timing he walked on water. You and I need to go out into our world, our sphere of influence, trusting that in God when we have to “walk on water,” He will give the ability to do so.
Once again, this is not some “Ok everybody clear back, I’m going to do ministry” type of thing. It is a kind thought or act. A smile. A cheerful attitude. Helping people [believers and unbelievers]. And trusting that when a special situation arises the power of God is in you to release whatever is needed at the time. You are in full time ministry.
Look at Jesus. He was very natural, nothing “spooky” about Him. God the Father gave Him whatever He needed when He needed it. And the ungodly - those who most need to see and feel the love of God - liked Him!
This is meant as a word of encouragement. You are already doing ministry, but you may have felt that because it is not in the church building it is not “real” ministry. Nonsense. As a child of God you have the opportunity to minister wherever you are and to whomever you are with. It’s natural. And you have all the resources of God Himself to meet every need that arises around you [you’ll understand this better if you take Making A Blood Covenant course]. Just be yourself and let God love through you.