Do you wonder if God has a purpose for you daily? Did God save you so you could make some money, raise healthy kids, get promoted in your job, and stay out of trouble? Maybe once or twice a year, you do some charity work, or teach Sunday School or go to a prayer breakfast. Is that why Jesus died for you?
There’s not much “ministry” for me to do. I live in a city with tons of Christians. Every corner has a church. Most of the people I work with are “christian:” They’re civilized, not Jewish, Hindu or Muslim, and they haven’t killed anyone. I give some money to various non-profits, a children’s hospital or the homeless shelter. I volunteer every year at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I give to United Way.
When I read words like “sacrifice” in the Bible, I wonder what I’m supposed to do. I don’t have any sheep to sacrifice. I don’t think God wants me to kill my dog. I’m generally too busy working, and shuttling kids to soccer or band to sacrifice much of anything.
A few weeks ago, a coworker told me they’re going through a divorce. I have coworkers who make very little money and could use some help. One has a child on a transplant waiting list. Many live paycheck to paycheck, trying to get another dollar to two per hour. Other coworkers have health, marriage or financial troubles. Or they have family members with medical issues. One has a close relative who is diagnosed with cancer.
Most of these people never meet a “minister.” They don’t go to church, or aren’t known where they attend. They need a minister, but our word minister has changed. Do you think a minister is someone who quits their job to work for a church or a religious non-profit? Are ministers the people who get up on stage on Sunday? Are they the people who visit you when you’re in the hospital?
A minister used to be someone who ministered, or cared for others. The Greek word commonly translated “minister,” or “ministry” in the New Testament is also often translated “servant.” The idea is someone who serves.
Jesus commanded us to make disciples, teaching them to obey all that He commanded. He instructed us to serve others and put them first. That’s what he did and so should we. If we live a life always ready to give away our resources and our time, we testify to our Source, our Strength and our Provider. People who meet Him, want to know Him. A minister is someone who helps others move one notch closer to Jesus.
What if every Jesus-follower in every career, occupation, or business was ready to help anyone move one notch closer to Jesus? Follower of One is a community of people who are moving closer to Jesus one notch at a time. We want to help others move one notch closer too. My best life is a living sacrifice, available to take any circumstance, resource, or opportunity to help the people around me, family, friends, coworkers move one notch closer to Jesus. Everything else is secondary.