Do you ever wish you had "more time for ministry"? Do you wish you could focus your life on "more important and more spiritual" activities for God? Do you wish your light really mattered?
Unfortunately, our generation has been brought up in a Christian culture that has so heavily glorified being "in the ministry" that it has degraded the most common ministry of being light in a dark world.
God loved the world so much he left the glory of heaven to come and shine his light in the darkness of a world drowning in its own sin.
He left the comfortable place - full of joy, love, affirmation (they sing his praises around the clock up there) and peace and came to a place of sorrow, hate, ridicule, and war.
The closest comparison we have as earth dwellers is to leave the glory of our Sunday church environment and shine our light in the darkness that surrounds us in everyday life. The people you see right here in Pflugerville, Texas are the ones who need to see your light.
I'm an optimist at heart and I am always looking to highlight the good things happening in the world. Someone saved a puppy, the economy is growing, pro-life judges are beginning to fill the supreme court... there are so many positives to focus on.
In spite of all of these, the reality is we live in a world full of darkness in the forms of addiction, abuse, disease, poverty, corruptions and the list goes on.
Our Sunday church services in Pflugerville, Texas are meant to serve four purposes.
First, we create a place where believers can gather together and celebrate the greatness of who God is and bring glory to his son Jesus.
Second, we provide a place for believers to regularly gather and encourage one another to run the race God has for them with joy.
The third reason we meet on Sundays is for the "equipping of the saints". Sunday services are an opportunity for church leadership to equip believers with the tools and confidence to be a light and do their ministry out in the world.
The fourth reason we meet on Sunday is to be lighthouse where lost and broken people in Pflugerville, Texas can find a new life in Jesus Christ. This is my favorite reason but the reality is many of the peole God wants to reach with his love will never walk into a church on Sunday.
Sunday is not the main day of "ministry" and the church building is not the main location for "ministry". Sunday is our spiritual Sabbath, it is the day to rest, rejuvenate, and celebrate the ministry we have been doing all week!
Somewhere along the line this truth was lost.
We began to glorify the "professional Christian" and celebrate safe Sunday morning Christianity over the messy, dirty, and uncomfortable Christianity Jesus modeled.
As a pastor, I love Sunday mornings and I am so excited to experience life in heaven with Jesus! These are amazing but they are only part of God's plan for us.
Jesus said, "As the father sent me into the world so I send you." God's plan is for us to go out into our world and shine our light.
We are called to shine our light as a soccer mom, an entrepreneur, a musician, a construction worker (remember Jesus was a carpenter), an athlete, an actor and any other talent God has given us.
Paul said, "Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as unto the Lord".
The Bible is full of stories where "ordinary" "secular" pursuits brought great deliverance and prosperity to God's people. Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, and Esther to name a few.
God used each of these people in ways that would never fit into a Sunday service.
Their main spiritual contributions were in the world, gained respect in the world, and ultimately influenced the world.
The Bible tells us that "all things are held together in Jesus." In other words, everything in this world and in this life has a Jesus component to it. Everything is spiritual. God calls us all to different places and positions of ministry but he calls us all to minister.
As believers, it is vital we honor how God works in and through every part of his church family.
Yes, we want to honor the pastors and those called to minister in pastoral roles.
At the Beat church, we are committed to creating a culture where we celebrate, honor, and support those who minister outside of the Sunday service by shining their unique light in their everyday calling.
Maybe you've never looked at yourself as "in the ministry" or maybe you have but feel discouraged because nobody recognizes the value of what you do.
Be encouraged! God sees it and your ministry is absolutely vital to God's mission. He came to seek and save the lost and he wants to do that through you.
He loves a seeker-friendly church but his real desire is for us to all be part of a friendly-seeking church. He wants a church full of people who emphasize the value of ministering in the real world. He wants a church full of people who follow Him out of the comforts of our safe Christian environments to minister to those who would never walk in the door of our Sunday services.
If you have been burning with a desire to "do ministry" all it takes is to be aware God has placed you where you are for a reason. He has given you a skill and placed you in the world to gain favor and influence where you are. He loves the people around you and has placed you there to win them over.
Praise God for you, your unique gifting, and your calling! Our churches would be empty without courageous and compassionate people like you living your ministry Monday through Saturday and shining your light where it's needed most!
Yes, in God's great plan YOU and your unique ministry were made to make a difference!