Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 6, 2012

Ministry: right here or over there?

Jason Helopoulos wrote a blog post about how we can miss the ministry right in front of us if all we ever think about is the ministry that needs to be happening somewhere else. It was convicting to read and apply!

How often have you been “locked” in conversation with someone on Sunday morning only to find yourself thinking about the person you need to talk to “over there”? Our minds start to wander and our eyes follow. I know the thoughts, “I need to touch that man over there this morning,” “if she leaves before I am able to encourage her an opportunity will be lost,” “no one is talking to that visitor I need to get over there.” And all the while, the person before us and the ministry the Lord has given to us in the moment is lost.

The seminary I attended had a chaplain. A comment was made about him that has always stuck with me. It was an offhand comment, but it has often served as a gentle rebuke and forceful encouragement to me. It was one of my professors who made the comment. He recalled a day when he was engaged in conversation with the chaplain. And the president of the seminary entered the room. This president was and is a boisterous and charismatic personality. When he enters the room your attention is drawn to him. And the professor recalled how the president made his way over to them, but the chaplain’s eyes never diverted from the professor. The seminary president stood waiting on the edge of their conversation and only after the chaplain had fully ended the conversation with the professor did he turn to the president. It wasn’t an act of rudeness or power that led the chaplain to keep the president waiting. It was an act of love and true humility. The professor in recalling this story said, “When the chaplain is with you, it is like you are the most important person in the world.” The professor was his field of ministry in that moment. The Lord had drawn them together and he was going to be faithful in that moment.

I wonder how often we miss the ministry before us for the ministry “over there?”

You can read the rest of his post here.

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