It is a question that so many people ask themselves and their friends. Most people equate serving God with being a Pastor or a missionary and rarely look to other areas of life where they are needed. 1 Cor. 12:14ff tells us about the body of Christ and that most people are not called to be the head (pastor or missionary) and if they do not receive that call, they few confused as to where they should minister and do good work for God. One thing believers need to remember is that the head cannot function without the rest of the body which tells us that each part of the body is as important as the head. here is what that verse says
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
One of the problems the church has, which does affect its influence upon the world, is that it tries too hard to ‘protect’ its members and does not spend enough time preparing or training them to meet the challenges of the world. i say that because while they do have Bible studies, they rarely have practical outlets where its members can make mistakes, learn from them and grow in Jesus.
Oh you might say that they do have programs for witnessing, handing out tracts, feeding and preaching at the homeless shelters and other safe events but rarely do they have their members go out and be confronted like Jesus did with his disciples. One example is when he appointed 70 men to go before him to cities where he was going to visit later
Now after this the Lord appointed [a]seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. (Lk. 10:1-3)
I do not think that these people were novices and very untrained as we know that Jesus had more than 12 people following him throughout his ministry. Since we do not know every detail of every minute of Jesus’ life, we can be assured that he trained them like he trained the 12. They were ready to go and notice, he did not send them to ‘safe’ locations, he sent them into the cities to meet the people. What exactly they did we do not know but one thing we do know is that Jesus wasn’t holding their hands as he said later in that chapter
Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves
But Jesus did not leave them without some instructions on how to behave
4 Carry no money belt, no [b]bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 If a [c]man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in [d]that house, eating and drinking [e]what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet [f]be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’
There was no attitude that this was a game and that the 70 could at the slightest offense, wipe the dust of their sandals. There was a seriousness to their actions for they were not sent to condemn people but bring them into the kingdom of God and a lot of restraint, discernment and discretion was needed when encountering people and trying to figure out if they should or should not wipe the dust off their feet. In today’s world, the HS would be the guide you need to help you decide when the right time is to do the wiping.
The key here is that if one wants to minister for God, they need to double-check to make sure that they are correctly trained and prepared to face what comes when they go out among ‘the wolves.’ It will not be easy and they need to know how to rely upon Jesus especially when the going gets tough. Now if you are not sure where you need to minister, here are some words that I am going to ask you to do a word and Bible study on to help get you pointed in the right direction:
justice, fairness, poor, innocent, down-trodden, laws and I think you get the idea. If those words do not give you enough of an idea, here are links to 3 programs that deal with topics that affect the poor, the down-trodden, the innocent, justice and so on. Now keep in mind that these programs are done with an entertainment value in mind and that most of the audience will get that ‘we should do something ‘ feeling and the next day that feeling passes.
If you had read the book Atheist Delusions, you would have seen that throughout history that even though some pagan societies have done a few things for those type of people it is usually left up to the Christian to handle the job full-time and for the long-term. The world has not changed that much, and it is up to the Christian to do something about the injustice, the wealth inequity, the lack of fairness and on it goes.
It was mostly Christians who fought slavery and the slave trade, it was mostly Christians who help the poor in eras gone by and now it is up to the Christian to do something again. These shows will give you examples of where Christians need to bring God and his justice and so on whether it is bringing better regulations to the bounty hunter occupation or funding the poor interest free and helping to get the monkey off their backs, you will see so many opportunities where you can minister for God.
The shows are from John Oliver’s new program but you can probably get the same ideas from watching Jon Stewart’s old shows as well.
I am not advertising their shows or saying what they are pointing out is better than God’s way but I am saying to get ideas to see where you are needed. Being an evangelist is not everyone’s calling but you can help evangelists by your efforts helping those who need to experience God first hand through his people. In other words, they need to see that people actually care and that is something everyone is supposed to do to others.
There several ideas in those episodes where the right believer can meet needs, even on a small scale, one example would deal with usury or interest rates and here is what God has to say about that topic:
People need help in many areas of life and God has chosen his followers to move in those areas and bring his aid to those in need. That aid does not look like we may think it looks like so be open to whatever God wants you to do and double-check to make sure it is of God before you act. Doing the wrong thing just means more work to straighten everything out.
Finally, as you go out and minister in these non-professional ways, remember these words of Jesus, so that your success does not go to your head:
17 The [i]seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” (Lk. 10)
The bold words are what I want you to reflect upon. Then as you do all of this do not forget to praise God for his working through you as Jesus said after all this:
21 At that very [j]time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I [k]praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 22 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Lk. 10)
We serve God and there is a huge field out there waiting for someone to care. Just do it with the right attitude, the right spirit and with the aid of the HS.