For many of us, the excitement and adrenaline that comes with a fall ministry launch have passed.
Now, ministry feels hard.
We are in the grind of recruiting volunteers, training small group leaders, preparing message after message, shepherding hurting and confused people through situations that have no clear path…oh and COVID. We still have to deal with COVID.
Ministry can be challenging, but allow me to remind you of a few truths from Mark chapter 3.
I hope these truths encourage you to continue bringing your best to the work you’ve been called to do.
God Wants You
The scene is a mountainside.
Jesus has this massive crowd following Him because he’s the miracle man who can heal your hand that was crushed in a construction accident, release your sister from the demonic oppression that has plagued her since childhood, and cure the disease that is slowly and painfully killing your best friend.
Out of this massive crowd of Jesus fans, Jesus calls twelve to be his apprentices.
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him.
Ah. I get it. Jesus has been watching.
He’s noticed who has the most potential…the best and the brightest. The top of the class. The cream of the crop.
Yeah…I’m not so sure about that.
Mark doesn’t exactly paint the twelve in the most generous light. They…
- Don’t have it all together
- Are often confused about who Jesus actually is
- Don’t have much faith
- Blow it regularly
- Abandon Him at critical moments
So why did Jesus choose these guys to be his disciples? Because He wanted them.
Quoting Mark, He chose those “He wanted.”
Why did you feel the pull of Christ on your heart all those years ago? Because He wanted you.
Why did Jesus call you into ministry? Because He wanted you there.
During the ministry challenges you’re facing, it’s important to understand something: God doesn’t have you where you are because you have it all together, have all the answers, and are incredibly skilled.
He has you where you are because He wants you there.
This is an opportunity for humility and trust.
Being With and Being Sent
So, Jesus is up on a mountain and out of this huge crowd, He appoints twelve.
And what are these twelve supposed to do exactly?
He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons.
Jesus chose the twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them.
This is core to what it means to be called into ministry—to join in the mission of Jesus.
Let me simplify your job description for a moment. Be with Jesus so you can be sent by Jesus.
The twelve left behind family, home, and work to travel with Jesus.
To watch Him, listen to Him, to sit with Him so they could grow to become just like Him and go out and do what He was doing.
This is what it means to “be with.”
So, what about being sent? Jesus said to preach and to cast out demons.
Now, you probably haven’t cast out many demons, but we are still in the business of joining in the mission of Jesus—to expand the borders of the kingdom of God in our world.
Jesus was preaching the kingdom of God. It’s here now and coming soon.
He was casting out demons and healing people because the kingdom of God is that realm where Jesus is king—where the darkness is expelled, and the broken are healed.
It’s that realm where Jesus is experienced, loved, and trusted.
Expanding the borders of the kingdom…that’s what ministry is all about, right?
Here’s an observation:
You’ll be much more equipped for this…
If you do this…
In other words, the more you spend time with Jesus, watching Him, listening to Him and observing Him, the more equipped you’ll be to expand the kingdom in your church, neighborhood, and family.
Let me encourage you to return to the practices of sitting with Jesus during this ministry season.
In the busyness of life and ministry, being with Jesus is often something we accidentally neglect.
And yet, it’s critical to our effectiveness in ministry.
As the challenges of ministry continue to increase, let’s slow down, quiet our hearts, and be with Jesus so He can send us to expand the borders of his kingdom in this season.