Rhonda and I have been involved in ‘ministry’ for over 35 years. Ministry . . . there’s a word that gets thrown around alot, but what does it mean to ‘be in ministry’? Merriam-Webster defines ministry, in part, as ‘the office, duties, or functions of a minister; a person (or thing) through which something is accomplished’. So, to ‘be in ministry’ is to be a person or persons upholding an office that has duties and functions by which things are accomplished. In 2000, our Heavenly Father changed the direction of the ministry in which we would be involved, and yet, in many ways, our ministry duties and functions have remained the same.
We have always believed in the concept of ‘community’, of being ‘the hands and feet’ and the salt and light, and tried to teach and portray those duties, although at times, displayed a better portrayal than at others. And then, a little over 15 years ago, we had a head-on collision with the Holy Spirit of God, and since that day things have never been the same. We were called to step away from our denominational involvement and begin to be grounded more in The Word and in the work of the Holy Spirit and less in our denominational tradition. That does NOT mean all that we did in the ‘church’ was in error. Quite the contrary, it was there we learned to love our neighbor, to care for the poor, the widowed and the orphaned. It was there we learned of our need of a savior to deliver us from sin and it was there we learned to share our faith in Messiah Yeshua, ‘to declare the gospel to all creation’. And it was in that place called ‘the church’ we came to understand the power, the presence, the reality and the need for The Holy Spirit and the giftings He distributes through the Body of Messiah, for our good and for the glory of God and our Father’s purpose. And it was through the leadership of the Spirit of God we came to an understanding of the true roots of ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints’.
Since our encounter with the Holy Spirit, God has led us down a path of teaching the roots of our biblical faith, to teach preparation for those things that are coming – both spiritual and physical preparation – and to be involved in outreach – to share the gospel and to meet the needs of those in our path, as best we can, and it is for His Glory. We are allowed the privilege, when the funds are there, to help in everyday, practical ways, such as that person on the corner with a sign that says’ Homeless and hungry’, or the person that needs a little money for gas to get to work, or the one that does not have the money for their medication. We get to help the one who needs a ride to town or the one needing some groceries, or who has no furniture or can’t pay the light bill . . . for there were times when we were ‘that person’ and we do not forget from where we have come, for tomorrow we, once again, could be ‘that person in need’. We get to help the one who needs someone to talk to when there’s no one else around; the one who is struggling to understand this new walk or who sees their home and family slipping away and doesn’t know where to turn. We’ve privileged to take a crew and mow the widow lady’s yard, or pray for the sick and hurting, both in body and spirit, and to help bring our Father’s healing to the wounds on the inside and see the lost become ‘found’. And, We believe in making sure people understand the TRUTH that ‘hard times are coming’ and the ‘body of believers’ is going to face extremely difficult circumstances before Messiah’s return; a ‘truth’ for which many are not prepared. And there are many others called to this same task, performing it daily without fanfare or recognition.
But with all that said, it seems there is too much time and energy expended on disputable matters, something that Rhonda and I are also guilty of from time to time. Spending so much of our time discussing ‘traditions’, spellings and pronunciations, sacred names, calendars and ancient writings, etc., etc, (not to mention coming disasters, ‘alien phenomena’, planets, or, well, you get the picture) can distract us from our primary duty and function as ministers – caring for the needy, declaring the Gospel to all creation and putting our money where we say our heart is. Are all these other topics valid? Some are . . . and there ARE those called to be watchmen . . . Rhonda and I are part of that calling. But . . . if we are not careful, we can become distracted and ‘out of balance’ . . .
Discussions are great and debates keep us on our toes, and yes, ‘iron sharpens iron’. But in the few minutes it took you to read this short writing, 21people . . . 21 people . . . 21 people, in the US alone, stepped into eternity. And experience tell us that at least 60-70% of those people died, lost in their sin . . . selah . . . Kinda makes all the other arguments and points of great importance pale in comparison. It did for us . . .
Isaiah 49 asks this question – can a there be a child at the breast and the one in the womb momentarily be forgotten? The Scripture gives the answer – ‘yes’ . . . It is possible to be involved in one task of importance to the point we lose sight of another duty of equal or greater importance. Others CAN feed the child, but only the mother can bring forth that which is in the womb.
In the midst of all that swirls around us in these days, may we not lose sight of our primary mission – to make disciples, to care for the needy, to pray for the sick and hurting, to declare the Gospel of Messiah Yeshua, and to be one of those that not only does these things, but helps assure these duties are accomplished . . . Shalom – J&R