Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

We tend to think that pastors are the only people who have ministries. The reality, however, is that we all have ministries.  The verb “to minister” means to attend to the needs of someone.  Pastors happen to tend to the spiritual needs of people.  But ministry is so much broader than that.

Every interaction that you have with another person is an opportunity to minister to them. It is an opportunity to fill a need that they might have.  For instance, your job becomes a ministry when you do it in a way that is inspired by the Holy Spirit and that is in service first and foremost to God.  So if you are a cashier or a social worker, you minister to others when you assist them with kindness.  If you are a teacher or a coach, your ministry is to inspire others to learn.  If you are a supervisor or manager, your ministry is to lead people with wisdom and maturity.

I know a young man who recently quit his job as a ballroom dance teacher at the studio where my husband and I take lessons. He had an argument with the owner, and huffed off as young people tend to do.  What upset me about his quitting was his failure to understand that he was doing more than teaching dance.  He had a ministry.  When he taught dance, he encouraged people to feel good about themselves when they learned a new technique.  He laughed and joked with his students, and gave them moments of joy in their day.  One of his students had lost her husband.  She told me that going to ballroom class had “saved her life” countless times.  A paycheck does not compensate that kind of service.  God does.

God asks us to be ministers in all that we do. You may think to yourself, “Well, I just pump gas.  People just want to get their car fueled up and then leave.”  Or, “I’m a boss, not a minister.”  You aren’t “just” anything.  God purposely has put you in your position to minister to those who you encounter.  You aren’t in your position by chance.

God didn’t endow you with certain talents solely for doing the task for which you are paid. He endowed you with talents to serve others.  So if you are a good baker, you may bring happiness to your colleagues by bringing cookies to the office from time to time.  If you are a very positive stay-at-home mom, you may encourage your child’s teacher when he or she is feeling overwhelmed.  If you are a skilled manager, you can give your subordinates a boost by telling them as often as possible, “Job well done!”

Not every person is meant to be a pastor. However, every person is meant to be a minister.  We have countless opportunities each day to minister to others by building them up.  A compliment or an encouraging word goes farther than you can imagine.  Just think about the last time that someone paid you a compliment.  How did that make you feel?

This week, think about why God has placed you where you are today. Who is he asking you to minister to?  Who does he want you to serve?  Don’t let your gifts and talents go to waste.  You have a ministry to fulfill.

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