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October 26, 2015

50 Year Discoveries: Ministry

Serving and teaching and learning and being a part of something bigger than me. Helping others learn and grow and heal. Taking what others know of the Word of God, increasing it and helping them apply it to life from day to day, kids and adults. I just want to make a difference where I am plugged in. I take all tasks very seriously – if I am going to do them, they will be done right and to my very best ability.

As I thought about writing this blog, that is as far as I got, because I got to thinking that if I listed all the ministries I have served in and what my roles were in each of them, it would sound like a brag list or a list for others to keep up with or be made to feel guilty about because theirs list isn’t as long. I don’t want that. Isaiah, in the presence of the LORD, admitted to being a man of unclean lips amongst a people of unclean lips. The Lord cleansed Him – made him worthy – and then made the call. Isaiah answered with a, “Here I am. Send me!” Being used of God never means WE choose to honor God with our presence, but we offer our lives to His leading and guidance as to where He has shaped us to fit into His grand plan for time and eternity. He prepares and cleanses us for the journey as we would never, otherwise be ready to go.

As I look over the areas the Lord chose/chooses to use me in, I see many themes emerge:

  • Love for God’s Word

  • Love for teaching others God’s Word

  • A desire to find the connections between God’s Word and our lives here and now

  • Encouraging others with the sovereign plan God’s working in their lives from conception to the present day – God makes no mistakes

  • Love for creating material for others to process and grow in their understanding of God, salvation, and trusting Him for their future

  • Love for organization and order so that I can do all the above things with faithfulness and quality

  • I love to give God glory for my messy, broken story because He has used me in the lives of women and children that I would never have been able to if I had never been through what they have and seen how God heals.

Serving the Lord is not about having all your ducks in a row or files organized, it is a willingness to say, “Yes,” even when your knees are knocking and you are so NOT in your comfort zone. Speaking in front of women and planning lesson for conferences, discipling others, going into the prison, going on to a very large campus to reach others for Christ; these are all things that I was terrified of even though I loved to teach God’s Word. I had to admit failure on so many days in all these ministries, but God kept using me, kept teaching me, kept stretching me. It wasn’t the results I could point to, but the relationships I built and the way the Lord poured THROUGH me to love others even when I thought and often felt empty and without talent or a shred of wisdom. I have felt like a fool AND skipped across campus praising the Lord – often on the same exact day!

However, ministry for me has mostly been in response to my sexual abuse as a teen. A wounded soul healed by Jesus, draws other wounded souls who need the love of Jesus. The very comfort He used to comfort me in my sufferings, He calls me to give to others who are suffering. He supplied my healing and I am motivated and empowered by Him to give that comfort to others who need to know someone understands, someone has walked a mile in their shoes, and that someone is in a place to offer grace to walk forward without fear and with confidence. To know healing and justice are truly possible. To know that they are not hopelessly lost in brokenness. To know there is the possibility of hope and joy for life’s journey ahead. It isn’t about fixing others – I tried that before and failed MISERABLY. It is about pointing others to Jesus, the Lord and Savior of their souls, who died and rose again to offer freedom and wholeness, where once there was brokenness and despair.

What I Have Learned:

  • Jesus is always the hero of my ministry – hands down!

  • Ministry is His call to live through me, not me to impress Him with my SKILLS

  • Serving the Lord is about the Lord and HIS glory and He will not share that with me – check my motivations at the door. I am called to surrender my agenda to His agenda and will for His world and my life

  • The results are slower than we like and messier than we can image. You can plan and plan, but the Lord leads the details to His own ends.

  • We are a stepping stone God uses in others’ lives, so we may never get to see the outcome, but can be assured He will use our service, willingly given with hands open.

  • I go in to serve others ready to bless THEM – and find myself more blessed than those I intended to serve. God’s math is Kingdom math, not earthly.

  • Quit waiting to be asked and jump in with all I have, relying on the Lord for what I will need. Just step out and see the Lord fill in my gaps – filling my heart and others to full and overflowing.

  • Even when no one notices, God sees, and He is really who I am doing this all for anyway, right?!

Ministry is never about us and it never will be!

Tools in the Master’s hands.

Willing.

Surrendered.

Humbled by our own small unworthiness.

God masterfully handles all I am and offer to Him, bringing the Gospel to others while changing ME in the handling. How can it not change me to be part of His eternal plan? I am with Isaiah: “Here I am. SEND ME!” I may fall on my face, but I will fall while my ears are listening for His call and my feet are going where He sends me. In His power.

The “rest of the story” is in His hands!

See you later, fellow servant of the King!

How About You?

  • What themes do you see, from the past to the present, that could indicate where the Lord might be calling you to serve?

  • How ready are you to say, “Here I am. Send me!”?

  • What needs to change for you to get ready or be ready?

  • How has the Lord used others to serve YOU in healing and finding hope for tomorrow through it all? I would love to hear that story! Email me at: kristin@unchanginggodchangingyou.com

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