Furthering Christ's Ministry in a Divided World
- Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from Kathi Macias' book Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World (New Hope Publishers, 2008). To purchase Beyond Me, click here.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Before I became a Christian, I found that one of the first questions people would ask me at a party or gathering was, “What’s your sign?” They were, of course, referring to astrological signs, seeking to find out which sign I was born under so they might better understand what makes me tick. To some degree I found that interesting, but for the most part I found it annoying to be pigeonholed.
Once I came to believe in Jesus as my Savior, I began to move in somewhat different social circles, where the question was no longer “What’s your sign?” but “What’s your ministry?” To be perfectly honest, I found that question even more disturbing than the one that had been posed to me by unbelievers. I suppose that was because I didn’t have a clue how to answer it. Yet so many others in Christendom seemed to know where they fit; why didn’t I?
In seeking out the advice of more mature Christians, I was told, “Don’t worry about it. God has a place for you. Just try different things, and you’ll know when you find the ministry that’s right for you.” And so, I did just that. I spent time in the nursery and with the toddlers; I tried my hand at working with teens; I became involved with jail ministry and working with the homeless, as well as alcoholics and drug addicts; I led Bible studies and taught Sunday school and leadership training classes; I wrote devotionals, poems, short stories, and books; I even served for a while as a biblical counselor at a large southern California church. Some of these endeavors I enjoyed more than others; some seemed to produce more positive results than others; some, including writing and teaching, I continue to be involved in to this day; but none seemed to be the one and only slot with my name on it.
Why is that? Why do some people seem so confident in the knowledge that their ministry is working with children or visiting people in hospitals or singing in the choir, while others of us feel backed into a corner when someone asks, “What’s your ministry?”
After many years of praying about and studying this issue, I have come to believe this uneasiness stems from ignorance regarding the ministry that has been assigned to all believers. At least, I know that was true in my case. Things began to clear up for me one day as I was reading through a familiar passage of Scripture:
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. . . . Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:14–15, 18–20 emphasis added)
Did you notice those highlighted words? The ministry of reconciliation. The word of reconciliation. Be reconciled to God.
Our ministry is not simply working in the nursery or singing in the choir or visiting the sick. Our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation! Jesus was in the world, reconciling people to God, calling them out of death and into life. But now He has gone back to sit at the right hand of the Father and to await His Father’s command to return for His bride. And while He is gone, what are we—His bride—to be doing with our time? We are to be continuing the ministry of reconciliation that Jesus began while He was here, calling people out of the culture of death into the assurance of eternal life. Ultimately, it remains His ministry and His work; we are simply privileged to participate in it.
Recently on Women
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content