Ministry as a Lifestyle

When you think about ministry what comes to your mind? Do you think of pulpits and pastors; worship leaders and sunday school teachers? For many years these were the only ideas I had of ministry. I thought that in order to be considered “in ministry” I had to be a leader of a christian community or receive a paycheck from the church. It wasn’t until the last few years had it become apparent to me that ministry is more than just a title or a position held in the church.

Diakonia, which is the Greek word that is often translated as ministry in the New Testament, means service.  While there are those who are called to “church ministry” i.e pastors, evangelists, prophets and teachers, the bible makes it very clear that each of us is given gifts for the purpose of serving thus enabling all of God’s people to do ministry.

It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service [diakonia], so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Ephesians 4:11-12

This diakonia or ministry is any biblically consistent work or service that benefits others and brings glory to God. We are all called to this service however, to each of us, God has given specific roles to play better referred to as purpose. And in order to achieve that purpose He has bestowed the use of various gifts and talents to each of us.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Each of us has a role to play in this ministry called life. As a blogger I know that I have been given is the ability to write and I utilize this platform known as the blogosphere to edify the body of Christ through words that bring encouragement to others and glory to God. (See Blogging with a Ministry Mindset) Each of us has been given talents and gifts that we are to use to complete the good works and purpose God has appointed to our lives.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

When we begin to see our lives as not just a series of events tied together by time but as endless opportunities to be witnesses of Christ and servants of the body we then strive to do everything to the glory of God.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

Whether we are school teachers, waitresses, lawyers, doctors, or artists our lives are a ministry of light pointing to the source of eternal love that is found in our Father and everlasting life that is accessed through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

 

 

Blogging with a Ministry Mindset

I never used to think of blogging as more than an online diary where you share your thoughts and hope someone along the way likes what you have to say. But after many years of on again off again writing, I’ve learned that blogging is actually a powerful platform and a very useful tool to the body of Christ. I would even dare to go so far as to say that blogging can also a form of ministry too.

Ministry, in essence, is any biblically consistent work or service that benefits others and gives God the glory. When I began to look at my blog and posts as more than just ramblings and journal entries but as a source of demonstrating God’s goodness, sharing my faith, and bringing hope to others, a profound change occurred. As I started to view my blog as a ministry I began to treat it as such. Here are the 5 things I consider when blogging with a ministry mindset.

1: Is blogging my calling?

Each of us is called and designed for a specific purpose and God has equipped us individually to achieve that purpose by giving us various talents and gifts. For me it has always been writing and photography. I could sit for hours in my closet or under my blankets scribbling away. It was only natural that as I grew older, coming up in an age where social media ruled, that I became a blogger. When I decided to start sutanamonae.com I was very prayerful asking God not only for direction but for confirmation it was a part of the calling He had for my life.

2: Blogging from wholeness

I am not perfect, none of us are. There are some areas of my life that still need major work and other areas I am making progress in. Nonetheless when I post I always try to write from a place of healing and wholeness. I don’t claim to have all the answers, I do not give advice on topics I don’t know the answer to or have not overcome and when I fail I do try to be as transparent as one can safely be on such a public and permanent forum. Since I see this blog as a form of ministry I do not use this particular platform to vent negatively, rant unnecessarily or complain. I remember that I am a conduit for christ and this is his forum.

3: I can not give what I have not put in

As a blogger, especially when you are blogging with a ministry mindset, it is crucial to maintain your spiritual health by investing time in the word, private time with God through prayer and meditation and striving to live a life of obedience and holiness. (see 6 Keys to Spiritual Health)

4: Importance of Fellowship and Community

We all need one another in fact we were created for one another. To lean on and learn from. As a blogger I’ve found so much inspiration, encouragement and direction just by reaching out to fellow bloggers and writers in the faith. Like any ministry there are good days and challenging days. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the right niche and others I can feel entirely out of place. During those times there’s nothing like reaching out to a fellow blogger or reading a really good post that makes me recall my purpose and remember why I’ve been called to do what I do. Also, community helps to guide me, advise me, and correct me wherever I may be error.

 

5: Don’t get caught up in the numbers

At the beginning this was reaaallyyy hard for me. I used to base my posts, my blog and sometimes ashamed to say myself on the number of people liked, followed, or shared my blog. That was a killer of esteem and I was always questioning my worth, value, and purpose. The truth of it all was I was more interested in what the people said and less focused and intent on pleasing God and bringing Him glory. Once I started writing from a heart fixed on God and a desire to be obedient to His calling on my life I no longer looked for approval in numbers and likes. Whether  reaches a thousand or whether it only reaches one, it is all to the glory of God and that has made all the difference in the world.

On The Shelf January 17′

41a4igwcrgl.jpgResisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly

A true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel overwhelmed, set aside our dreams, and lack the courage to simply be ourselves… and how to start choosing happiness again!

 

 

 

 

 

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41zkopkkzhl._sx258_bo1204203200_.jpg.jpgCapture Your Style: Transform Your Instagram Images, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform  by Aimee Song

Capture Your Style will empower you to become your own master mobile photographer, whether you’re looking to launch an e-commerce business or simply sharing a gorgeous meal with your friends, turning even the most mundane moment into Instagold. This is a must-have reference for anyone interested in the ins and outs of stylish personal branding.

 

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Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation by Matthew Kelly

How well do you know Jesus? I think about this often, and I always come to the same realization. I don’t know Jesus anywhere near as well as I would like to know him. The desire is there, but life gets in the way. There are times when I seem to be making great progress, and other times when I wonder if I know him at all. But I always arrive back at the same inspiring and haunting idea: If there is one person that we should each get to know in a deeply personal way, it is Jesus – the carpenter from Nazareth, the itinerant preacher, the Son of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Lamb of God, the new Adam, the Messiah, the Alpha and the Omega, the Chosen One, the Light of the World, the God-Man who wants good things for us more than we want them for ourselves, the healer of our souls.

 

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People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann

A debut collection of witty, biting essays laced with a surprising warmth, from Jen Mann, the writer behind the popular blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat

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Hiatus…

There was a time I really used to think that going on hiatus was a bad, horrible, awful thing that you should never do… HA! That was until I went on one. For the last month or so I’ve taken a break from nearly everything it seems like. Social media, relationships, blogging, friends and family at times. I ate an abundant amount of carbs, didn’t workout at all, then again I never did, watched Game of Thrones on repeat for the 6th time and got alone with God and myself to really figure out what it is I was doing with this gift we call life.

During this time I really realized I was just doing. Doing this, doing that… but never really being anything purposeful. Growing up, in a lot of ways things just happened for me. I happened to go to an awesome college, I happened to start singing and playing guitar, I happened to fall in love with an idiot or two, I happened to move to North Carolina then to New York, then to California then to Florida and back again, all while happening to go absolutely nowhere all at the same time.

Something in me needed to change. Perhaps die is a better way of putting it. I got to a place in my life where my complacent, lackadaisical, all pray and no work attitude had to perish and I had to begin to accept the calling, the plan, the purpose and the will of God for my life.

I now live in NYC, a definite dream I’d always had since I first visited as a teenager. Not much seems to have changed on the outside, by meer glance some would say I appear to be worse off. However, I know that more than what appears to be going on externally there is something greater, more fruitful and more inspiring going on on the internally. And in due time the vine of my life will begin to blossom and the fruits will undoubtedly show.

Glad to be back…

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On The Shelf: July Reads

Here is whatI’ll be reading for the month of July!

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In To live is Christ to die is gain, Chandler takes readers on a walk through the book of Philippians where Paul teaches what it means to be a mature Christian.

 

 

 

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The set apart woman is an excellent guide to living life centered on Christ in a not so Christ centered world. It deals with overcoming daily obstacles, distractions and overcoming behaviors that try to divert the heart and mind from sacred living.

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In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance. Most significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well. Whatever lost expectations readers are facing―in family, career, singleness, or marriage―Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will bring them closer to a God who longs for them to know him more.

 

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Joy Cho, of the award-winning Oh Joy!, offers expert advice on starting and growing a blog, from design and finance to overcoming blogger’s block, attracting readers, and more.