“Building a personal ministry? I can’t do that!”
Oh yes you can and you should. Why? Jesus said so!
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus was telling his small group to go and share with the world the message of Eternal Life. And He is telling us the same thing today. How can we be sure? Well, look at the text where Jesus says “of all nations.” Once you’re a disciple – you have a ministry. A “Ministry Of One.”
“Me?” “By myself?” “Ministry is hard.” — Really?
Jesus’ group of 12 ordinary men, would soon be without their group leader. They were about to be stranded, scattered and sought by men who wanted to kill them. And – They were about to change the world without television, radio, newspapers, magazines, conferences, trains, buses, SUV’s, airplanes, Facebook, Twitter, email, stadium events, rallies or — money. They had it hard. Compared to the 12 disciples we have it easy. Really easy.
So how do you start your Ministry Of One? Well, first of all – Jesus has already started it for you. The moment you accepted Christ as your savior the wheels of your ministry were set in motion. You are called to share the Good News. And that – my fellow disciple – is ministry!
But like building anything of substance, purpose and promise, you’ll need to know a few important details. You’ll need 2 crucial things. Without them your ministry has little chance of surviving, let alone making a difference. So here are the 2 most important things you need right now to build your ministry. Make sure you have a pencil and paper handy because these are REALLY important.
The 2 most important things you need to build your Ministry Of One are…
1. A willing heart.
2. A Bible.
That’s it – start ministering!
“But, wait minute – don’t I need a degree from a Bible College, a bestseller, a killer website and a ton of money to start my ministry?” No you don’t! You have all that you need in a willing heart and a Bible. Actually, the Bible is optional.
Your personal story or testimony is your greatest ministry tool. Bibles, full-color printed handouts or an iPad for presentations are all great – but totally unnecessary. A willing heart and your story are your most powerful tools.
“Shouldn’t I sign up with a big world-wide ministry company and go to foreign countries and share the Good News in jungles and impoverished areas? You can if you want to – but no you don’t!
“Then where do I start.?”
That’s a great question. Here’s your great answer. Open the front door of your house or apartment and step outside. Now, start right there. You have just entered the greatest area of the world that needs your ministry – your own neighborhood.
Trust me on this one thing – there is no shortage of people who need to hear the Gospel message. You will meet many who don’t want to hear it. That’s their choice. But every body needs to hear about the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
“Okay, I get it. I have a ministry. But, seriously what can I do? I’m just one person. I’m not about to go up to someone and ask them if they’ve accepted Christ as their savior.” I understand that. So here’s what you can do. And it’s huge!
#1. Follow the Golden Rule.
Do for others just what you want them to do for you. – Luke 6:30-32
#2. See rule number one.
What the world knows as the “Golden Rule” is really the essence of all ministry. If someone had the cure for cancer would you not want them to share that information with you? Of course you would. Well, we have the cure for death. Eternal life through Jesus.
Here are a few other things you can do to jump-start your “Ministry Of One.”
a) Buy an extra sandwich at lunch and give it to someone who’s hungry.
b) Buy a few packs of Bible tracks* and leave one with your tip at a restaurant .
c) Start a Bible Study at the County Jail. Jesus is truly “the only way out” for these lost men and women.
d) Go on a prayer walk. Invite some church friends to join you. Just walk around your town praying for your neighbors.
e) Volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
Those will get you rolling. But – Here are a few more ideas…
If you’re a musician – share your gift in hospitals and hospice centers.
If you’re a good cook – ask your church if there’s a family in need of a meal or some groceries.
If you have extra time, volunteer to drive senior citizen’s to doctor’s appointments. Or take them shopping.
If you know your way around the engine of an automobile, offer to change the oil on a neighbors car.
Just use your eyes, ears and heart and look around – there is no shortage of need.
And you don’t have to go it alone. Start a small group that ministers to teens, or in homeless shelters. Our church started a “Handy Man Ministry” to do light repairs for elderly people and single Moms. And we asked our congregation to let us know if they knew of a person or family in need of a little fix-up work. We also helped non-believers.
So there are some things that should keep your ministry busy 24/7. But remember this as you build the next great world-wide ministry… Minister to yourself and your family first. Sometimes God is calling us into ministry so that we can truly be the head of our households. IMHO – the greatest ministry work you can do is to be a Godly husband or wife and a Godly father or mother to your children.
And of course – pray for God’s help.
“Lord, thank you for calling me into your ministry. Show me the way. Lead me. Guide me to where you would have me go. Give me the tools and resources I need to share the Good News. Teach me the right words. Give me a courageous spirit. And set my feet on solid ground as I go forth in your name. Amen”
* – Here are a few ministry tools, that I highly recommend, if you so desire to use them.
Allison Bottke’s Track – God Allows U-Turns. Google it. It’s the best I’ve ever seen. IMHO, of course. To order packs of 25 go to www.christianbook.com
*Rick Warren’s – “What On Earth Am I Here For?” www.saddlebackresources.com
Today’s Song: “Follow You.” Leeland w/ Brandon Health