What Ministry Is

Yesterday’s blog is something that’s been heavy on my heart for a long time. (If you missed it, you can read it here.) Too often, we define ministry as a paycheck or a profession. That’s not what it was intended to be. Ministry is just the natural overflow of an identity. Chase Jesus, not ministry. But when we chase Jesus & grow to love Him, where does this overflow of ministry happen? How do we add serving others into the chase?

Terry Crist said recently, “Lead with your character, not with your faith. The best representation of Jesus you can be doesn’t come from quoting Scripture effectively, but living it out effectively.” Leading with your faith — that sounds good and right. But when our actions don’t line up with the faith that we preach, those words just sound hollow and legalistic.

Instead, I want to lead with love that looks ridiculous. I want to lead with authenticity that’s unprecedented. I want to lead with kindness that’s unmerited. I want to lead with joy that’s not dependent on circumstances. I want to lead with integrity that’s unparalleled. When these things are on display, people will ask questions. Your life & your character will look radically, fundamentally different than everyone who is searching to be loved, to be accepted, to have kindness extended. You’ll get an audience without even speaking any words at all, much less leading with them.

The reality is that I’m not very good at living this way, because it’s easier to type something than it is to live it out. But this is a call to authenticity, both to you and to myself, because when we live out the character of Jesus, ministry opportunities will come kicking down the door.

Don’t be scared off by official-sounding phrases like “ministry opportunities.” That’s just Christianese for “people.” This world & all the lost people in it are desperate for what we have to offer. Set out to love them, to live truth in front of them, to spread joy amongst them. You will find Jesus in your midst, too. Chasing Jesus & loving people? This is why we are here. Let’s live like we know it.

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