May 1, 2013

The One Thing to Know in Ministry

If I could sit with you for just a few short minutes and give you words of wisdom that could sustain a lifetime of ministry, I might try to cram in what I've learned about criticism or how to approach Sunday mornings or what you need to know about making friends, but really it all boils down to one thing: You are loved by God.

Know and remember and meditate on the fact that you are wildly loved by God. This will keep your eyes up rather than looking side-to-side for what others are doing or saying. Dress yourself in His love, tend to your wounds with it, look to His love for your approval and rightness, let His love do the compelling work that it does to fling us into the world with His grace and compassion spilling out from what you've received.
Know that you are a daughter sitting with Christ at God's table, not an orphan on the outside looking in, hoping to belong. You belong, you are welcome, and you carry the family name. Let His love fall over you, let it satisfy you, let it sustain you when you are full and also when you are lonely, downtrodden, and ready to cash in the chips. Because He can, and He will.

Rest in the idea that you are loved simply because of what Christ has done for you. Receive that gift graciously without trying to make up for the gift or prove you were worth it. Be a good gift-getter: enjoy His love, say thank you, and express your gratefulness for it by living joyfully and freely in what He's given you. Make it your goal to continue to know His gift toward you.

I could tell you about strategies and steps and spiritual gifts, roles and rhythms and relationships, but it's much simpler than that. You want to be fruitful, do you? You want to be a good ministry wife, yes? There is, at the very foundation of ministry, only one thing you need to know: love. Receive God's and let it compel you to love others.

For the entire law is fulfilled in this one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14