As many of you know, I resigned my position at my church back in September. Recently it occurred to me that since doing that I have done very little, if any ministry. There will be down times in our ministry and our lives, but we can not allow these times to become times when we stop doing the work that God has called us to.
It’s ok to rest. Ministry is hard work. Whether you do ministry as a full-time vocation, part-time, or as a volunteer there will be times when you simply need to rest. If there comes a point in your life where you find yourself separated from the daily grind of ministry, take advantage of it and get some rest. Use this time to reconnect with God, your friends and family and yourself. But, don’t stuck in this mode.
Ministry will look different. During this time in your life, ministry will look different from what you are used to. You may have to look a little harder or be more creative, but there are ministry opportunities around you. If, like me, you have stepped down from a leadership position, but are still attending the same church, then I am not suggesting you jump back into the ministry that you just stepped out of. What I am saying is that you need to look for where God wants you to serve during this season of your life.
Serve in your church. Look around the church you are currently attending for areas that need help. I’m not talking about ministries that aren’t doing things the way you would do them. I’m not talking about you swooping in to try and fix a ministry that you just know you could lead better. What I AM talking about is getting back to basics. I’m talking about getting your hands dirty, literally. Talk to whoever takes care of your building or grounds and ask them how you can help. Talk to ministry leaders and ask them if there is anything you can do to help them. Talk with your pastor and see if there are any holes you could fill in the church for a season. Who knows God may reveal your next area of ministry through this season.
Serve outside of your church. Look around your community. What is God already doing that you can be a part of? Consider your friends and coworkers. Is God working in the lives of someone you know? How can you get onboard with what God is already doing there? Bottom line, don’t let your experience in the church limit your view of where ministry can happen. It happens everywhere and you can be a part of it.
Seek Jesus. If you are a leader you will probably be anxious to get back to leading. The temptation can be to seek out opportunities to lead. With all good intentions we spend our quite time seeking the direction that God wants us to take. We pray for God to show us where we are going next. Recently God reminded me that this is not what we are supposed to do. Rather we should focus on seeking Jesus. Out of our pursuit of Jesus will come the direction we seek.
Waiting is working. It can be tempting to spend our “downtime” simply waiting on direction from God. I remember a few years ago a young man in our church preaching a message on waiting. He pointed out that waiting was actually a very ACTIVE thing. Consider the person that waits on you in a restaurant. Clearly this person is active. If you don’t think so, just ask anyone who has done it. This is how our season of “downtime” should be.
So, have you stopped ministering? If so, what are you doing about it?Matt Norman
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