During the Spring 2012 semester, several Nyack College students met Kurt, a bright, friendly man with a huge smile and loads of passion for what he does. Kurt seemed as if he could get along with every person he meets. While setting up a lit display in the NYC Campus student lounge, he explained his reason for visiting the school.
Kurt wasn’t selling gym memberships or recruiting students into the military. He invited Nyack College to join him at Inspire Sports Camp‘s Northeast location in New Jersey for the summer as counselors and coaches.
Throughout the year, Kurt and millions of other people are excited to be a part of one unique genre of activity. This engagement encourages the use of your giftings, passions, and fields of expertise. There are few limits to its manifestations; as long as you have the ability, you can use it here. When executed correctly, this recreation is so fulfilling, rewarding, and, dare I say, fun, that you’ll find yourself looking forward to the next occasion each time you go.
I’m talking about ministry here!
In a general sense, ministry is an opportunity for you to help others while pointing them to God, whether in your family, work environment, church, et cetera. For the sake of this post, we’ll discuss six reasons why you should get involved in an organized ministry–a group most often at (but not limited to) your church where you join others for a distinct cause–ASAP.
1) You get to serve God in an organized setting. Is there anything in life that is not structured, maintained, and orderly, yet still successful? Don’t rack your brain too hard on that question, I didn’t–the majority of the time the answer is no. Ministries adhere to this law with no exception: lots of time, dedication, and prayer goes into ministries that wish to be effective. Like any other organization, they consist of leaders, members, resources, and a vision.
Participating in ministry makes you part of a team striving to accomplish the extraordinary, whether preserving the church property through housekeeping or persuading others to Christ with evangelism. You also receive mentorship from the ministry’s leaders, whether directly (you and the leader mutually recognize a mentor/mentee relationship) or indirectly (their behavior, decisions, and attitude affects your own as you analyze them in action). Seeing how a ministry works, you may even be encouraged to begin your own! With God’s help, of course.
2) You serve God and people, bringing your acquired skills, ideas, and experiences to the table. Love is a verb, right? It’s an action. We show love to God and people by our sacrifices, our time, and our zeal. To God, love is the biggest deal. As stated in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
The love displayed when you place a helping of free food on a disadvantaged person’s plate, give medical attention to civilians from another country, or put sincere energy and feeling into your gifted performing art as people watch being left with an indelible mark on their hearts. This is surely augmented when you do it for the Lord, as suggested in Matthew 6:33–not a bad way to spend your time at all.
3) You gain fellowship with other believers. Fellowship is a big deal that few people purposely choose to live without. Many folk are willing to hang out with acquaintances who have compromising values, all for the sake of company. Why not bypass that option and get to know the wonderful people in your local community of believers? If you were to ask me the #1 way to get to know people in a church, whether large or small, I would conclude ministry without much of a second thought.
Check it out: you join a group of dedicated people who joined the same ministry with intent to use similar skills to pursue a shared goal. You work side by side with them, and most likely will recognize them outside of the ministry during service or even in your neighborhood. They might have some other like-minded friends who all want to hang out. Before you know it, you’ve fostered a whole new social circle. Voila! No need to pat yourself on the back; your new friends can do so for you.
4) You build on your skill sets. Looking to list work experience? Start with your ministry! Explain why serving as the graphics design, administrative assistant, or sound engineer at your church wouldn’t count as relevant experience on a resume? I learned acting, puppeteering, and child care skills at my church, and developed a myriad of other abilities both there and in other ministry venues. Colossians 3:23-25 states “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord,” right? You can live this out in ministry, all the while perfecting your craft and loving every minute of it.
5) You enjoy purpose. So, you decided to dedicate a Saturday morning or weekday afternoon to participating in a God-ordained ministry? Ever grow tired and start to think that your effort is a waste? Unless the ministry has been sorely mismanaged, think again. Chances are you are exactly where God wants you to be, when God wants you there.
The fact that you selected that activity over all others (most likely as a volunteer) and you’re sticking to it is monumental. You’re absolutely filling a void and doing your part to assist in works for Christ, whether through charity, soul winning, or encouraging the brethren. Now that’s purpose. Remember, never get tired of doing good!
6) You can develop leadership skills. The ability to lead is cultivated–no one acquires it overnight. Ministry is a perfect place to develop leadership skills, and in every ministry, they are direly needed. Without people participating in ministry for the right reasons, things have a tendency to fall apart.
Be humble. Be diligent. Be thorough in every assignment you receive, whether exciting or monotonous. People will take notice, and when the timing is right, you may be given more responsibility.
There are all too many positive reasons to join or begin a ministry. Whether you aren’t employed or you’re holding down two jobs and a family, you can still dedicate some time to get involved. Opportunities abound at your church, your local organization, or from a God-imparted vision. Go for it!