We are currently in the middle of a Stewardship campaign, and this Sunday we are looking at people’s ministries. Most would not recognise what they do as a ministry, and there are still pockets where it is thought that “ministry is what the vicar does”. We are also a church with lots of needs (or opportunities), however, we do not believe in focusing on “filling the jobs”; yes there are a few jobs which need to be done, but in the vast majority of cases if there is no one to do them and they cease it isn’t the end of the church!
Instead, we want to encourage people to discover their ministries and to take part in them – even if they are things we aren’t currently doing. The theology behind this is that God has given the church certain gifts, and surely they are for using, and not for suppressing in the name of a need for people to do something else. If God wanted us doing something else then surely he would have given us the resources to do it?
There are a lot of books and tests out there looking at identifying your ministry, most I have found are quite Charismatic. However, if that isn’t your cup of tea there are still some interesting ideas that can be taken from them. One, “What you do best in the body of Christ“, suggests that you look at yourself in three dimensions:
Your spiritual gifts
These are the different roles that are referred to in the New Testament:
There are of course sub roles within these, but the question is, which has God given you?
Your personal style
This is related to many of the secular tests that there are; eg Myers Briggs. This tells you what your preferences are (not your abilities) (see here for a test). We find it easier to work with our preferences, but can work in other areas too.
This is something that you feel strongly about – it is not necessarily something you are good at; for example you may have a passion for children’s work, but can’t handle being with them! That is OK. If administration is your thing you could administer a children’s club of some kind.
By looking at all three of your gift areas it should be possible to identify something which is your specific ministry, your specific calling. The challenge then is to find time to go and fulfil it!