I want to just lay it out there. Oh, please tell me you know what I’m talking about…the guilt trip I sometimes have for not being more involved in the ministries of the church.
There. I said it.
Yes, it’s true that I’m in a very intense season of life. It’s understandable, you might say, when it’s all I can do most days to care for 3 small children, a home, and be the helpmeet to my husband. To be a (not too great) friend. The thought of piling another couple of commitments on top of that? It makes me want to crawl back under the covers.
Even so, my tendency is to glibly overcommit to good, wonderful things that are several weeks or months down the road without realistically evaluating whether or not I’m called to say yes. And those women who seemingly effortlessly juggle 5 kids, and a home business, and a chic home, and are heavily involved in women’s ministry, and still manage to throw on a cute outfit? Not. Helping.
The truth of the matter is, I am not called to fill every single need. That’s burn out time, and not living in obedience to God’s call for this season of life. I am called to serve my family first, and if I sacrifice them on the altar of my desire to fill a need in the church or prove that I’m Superwoman…that’s not helping anybody.
Nor am I allowed to NEVER serve. That’s not protecting my family; it’s demonstrating selfishness and an unwillingness to love and serve others. Quite honestly, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing to constantly reevaluate commitments and where we’re at with serving. Somebody has to serve in all the myriad positions that make a church or ministry run smoothly. It’s only when I start applying blanket statements that the waters turn murky.
Surely there has to be a balance.
Through love, serve one another applies to every believer in every season of life. Whether it’s my family, or my neighbors, or fellow believers within the church, or guests at a homeless shelter, I am called to a life of loving service.
Jesus provides the perfect example of how to filter the unending demands on a life of ministry. Mark 1:35-39 teaches an important principle that I so easily forget. Only in prayer does life come into focus. The urgency of all the pressures, demands, and call upon my time fades and blurs when I have applied the lens of seeking God’s face and heart. Only then can I see with clarity what should claim my attention. I can trust His care for all the needs, all the people, all the many ministry opportunities, just as I can trust His care of me.
Surely, with prayer and wise counsel (for me, that’s Superman’s input) a godly balance can be reached. No, I can’t chaperone the Junior High Girl’s camp, but I can make a meal for a family with a newborn. No, I can’t spend hours involved in putting together a Women’s Ministry brunch, but I can have a family over for dinner.
My main ministry in these early years is loving and training and discipling my children to give them a solid foundation for the rest of their lives. It’s not glamorous, but it’s vital.
And I can pray. Prayer is not only the filter to highlight the ministry I am meant to do…often it is the ministry.
There is no greater service than praying for others. That, I can do. While I’m scrubbing toilets, or mopping floors, or kissing owies, or cooking dinner. You and I can have a ministry that touches countless lives by investing in prayer.
Today, I will kiss the small faces upturned to mine, change dirty diapers, and pass out sippy cups. I will pour orange juice as unto Jesus, and dispense glitter glue with a servant’s heart. I will pray, and cook, and serve, and write with all the joy that He gives me in this season.
And someday, when my season has changed, I look forward to serving in the nursery, or Women’s Ministries, or Youth Group. At a Crisis Pregnancy Center, or a soup kitchen, or tutoring. Wherever the Spirit leads.
Where is He leading you?
What season of life are you currently in right now? Are you heavily involved in outside ministry, or focusing closer to home?
Wherever you are serving, know this: you are vital, and valued, and never more alive than when you are using the gifts you’ve been given to minister as Jesus leads you. <3
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