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

 

 

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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.

How To Know God’s Will

With so many options to choose from in life, like what school should I go to? What car should I buy? Should I go down this career path? Could this be my spouse?
It’s so crucial to know what God’s saying about the decisions we make and what His will for us really is.

Recently I’ve been vacillating between some housing and career options that are so different, they are literally on the opposite sides of the country. There’s both really awesome benefits to each opportunity and equally they face their own set of challenges and here I am stuck in the middle asking should I stay? Should I go? And how do I know God’s will?

1. Be Filled With The Holy Spirit

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,

– Ephesians 5:18

The first step to knowing God’s will is being filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our helper and our guide.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

– John 14:26

Daily connection with God is crucial to life and knowing God’s will. We should ask God daily to be empowered, strengthened, and led by His Holy Spirit. That His presence will penetrate all you do and throughout the day listen intently for his instruction, direction and wisdom.

And I’ve filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all kinds of craftsmanship

-Exodus 31:3

2. Thankfulness & Contentment

In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful andcontinually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

-1 Thessalonians 5:18

     An attitude of gratitude!
Despite what our situations look like; circumstances feel like, the Word of God says to

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.”  -Psalm 107:1

It doesn’t say give thanks to the Lord when life is good and when you feel like doing it. When you know God is in control of all things, that there are no mistakes in heaven and details don’t just slip through the cracks, this is just one of countless reasons why you can be thankful that God is good.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

– Romans 8:28

3. Live W-H-O-L-L-Y  Committed to Christ

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality,

– 1 Thessalonians 4:3

     Lastly, living a life of purity and holiness is crucial to knowing God’s will for your life and carrying it out; God will never contradict His word. So if you are striving to model a life reflective of the principles of righteousness and truth found in God’s word you can be 100% sure He’s not telling you to steal your rent money from your parents or to go have sex with your partner outside of marriage. We use the Word of God as a way to test and verify all things.

On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

-1 Thessalonians 5:21