Monday, January 16, 2006

Randomness of Ministry

Christian ministry is hard work. Blatantly I'm no expert, I've only been in 'full time' Christian ministry (ie working for Christian organisations, obviously all Christians are in full time Christian ministry) for a year and a bit, but as another dull and dreary January roles around, I've again been struck by how hard this work is. Part of me longs to be back as a physics student (I know, that sonnds very weird, why would anyone want to do that?!) but as a physics student we were set weekly 'Problem Sheets' - things I didn't necessarily enjoy, but I'd work hard at them, struggle to do my best (well most of the time...... :o)) then hand it in and a week or so later I'd get it back with a mark on it - then I could see where I'd done well, and what I hadn't understand. It was easy to see how I needed to improve and what I should work on. Its not the same in Christian ministry. There is no end product, no mark out of ten, no ticks and crosses. I work with people, trying to work out how best to serve them, how best to encourage the Christian in their amazing journey with Christ and how best to explain to the non-Christian to their need of a Saviour, and point them to Jesus. I can't hand these people in to God to receive a mark out of ten for the work I've done with them, because its not my work anyway. Its His. And He graciously chooses to use me in it (becasue of his biazrre policy of delighting in using the weak the foolish). My selfish pride wants there to be outward results, so that I can point to them, to show people what a great church worker I am. But its not about me, and its not about outward results. Its about Him, and about being faithful to His Word. We've been doing services in old peoples homes every Sunday since September, its a tough work, partly because its very hard to see what God is doing. A lot of the old people can't really express themselves, so we don't know what (if anything) they've taken in. But is it for us to know? Should we not just keep proclaiming the good news and loving people the best we can? I suppose if I'm honest, I'm very glad that I don't receive a mark out of ten for my faithfulness to God, I know it wouldn't be very high. But thankfully God doesn't accept me on what I've done or haven't done - he accepts me becasue of what Jesus has done. And thats brillaint news. However hard Christian minsitry may be, it is blatantly such a privilege to have a job where I can spend my time telling people about this awesome God.

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