Special Ministries

(Steven M Levine) #1

This is my first time posting a new topic on here. But, I am interested as to whether you have a special ministry that you do, or are involved in. I would also like some advice from different people as to what to look for in your ministry, and the who, what and how of getting these people ministry.

For instance, while I have generalized ministry through speaking and being a pastor, I have a secondary ministry that has started to really form for me in the last couple of years. Many people don’t even know about it, and that’s okay. We all have a story. And, while we all have a different story, we all cross paths with people who have a story so similar to ours, that a very personal relationship can form.

1 John 4:18 says:
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Part of my story is that I lost my father at the age of 8. Over the last couple of years, God has put some kids in my life that have very similar stories. One of which, I had to do the dad’s memorial service. It was the hardest funeral that I had ever done, as it brought up some very strong emotions in me. I was determined to get through it, for the kid’s sake.

Two others that have been put into my life is a young man who lost his dad in exactly the same way I did, and young lady who lost her dad at about the same age that I did. Both are at different places in their lives, so I interact with each one a little differently. But, the ministry is still there.

Children who have lost parents have a huge void in their lives. So, my advice to people who are in ministry, is to not lump them into other groups, such as single parent families due to divorce or other circumstances. I don’t want to compare losses. Everyone deals with loss in their own way. It is my hope that kids who have lost a parent, can have a mentor or counselor who have been through it.

Proverbs 11:14
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

(Matt Western) #2

Thank you for sharing, and your story reminds me of the verse in James 1:27 - “pure religion undefiled is to look after orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” That is, to do what Jesus did, and reach out to the vulnerable and the marginalised in society. Your story is encouraging, and I hope you are in turn encouraged.

It seems that people who have been through life’s tragedies are the ones that are able to best comfort others going through the same thing. How can a person minister, and show empathy fully, without having an understanding of what another person is going through. People that have been through depression, loss of a child, loss of a parent or other tragic life events are better at showing empathy to people going through a similar situation. I have not been through the loss of a father, so if I tried to help someone who is going through this tragedy, I would probably be just academic or philosophical and not helpful at all during the time of need - or at least if I tried to help, it would be better to just listen and not offer solutions.

I tend to be more technical focused and try to see my ‘ministry’ as helping make life easier for people using technology because I generally find IT fairly easy. I think one of the toughest jobs is being a pastor or a person in public Christian ministry because people are so complicated and with so many problems - and you are putting yourself out there and risking that people will reject you, or take what you are trying to do to help the wrong way (my father-in-law is a pastor of 25+ years, so I’ve watched from the sidelines for 19 years now at the turnover of people in our church… and tried to help quietly in the background as I’m not a good public speaker)… I’m reminded that we are all members of one body in Christ - all on the same team, all are equal before God, and we can each try to find an area of ministry to fill in our church communities as it says in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

Maybe a good way to look at it is: Sometimes it takes the pressure off if we have a ‘silent ministry’ or one that only a few know about, because we are just doing it for Jesus Christ, and we can go about and do things quietly - perhaps it releases the pressure of having to get it perfect if it’s a very public ministry - and also allows us to do this quieter secondary ministry as we are able to fit it into our main calling (pastoral or secular paid work or whatever the case may be)?

I hope this is an encouraging post to you… both as a pastor and in your ministry of helping children who have lost a parent through death. Thank-you for sharing your heart. :slightly_smiling_face: :slight_smile:

(Billie Corbett) #3

Hello Matthew,
As I read your post, these verses came to my mind.
They appear to encourage doing things quietly.

Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

I really believe most of what we do should be between us, the Lord and whomever we are seeking to bless. It is glorifying to God, and better for everyone else concerned.

If we recognize a need and cannot fill it…we can pray that God would bring the right person along, whom God has equipped to minister to that need. God gets all the glory. We get to praise Him, and be grateful for His unfailing love and mercy.

Keep blessing those whom you recognize need your love and support.

(Steven M Levine) #4

Billie. I just want you to know that I was not intending to be boastful with my post. I was just wondering about other peoples smaller, personal ministries, and any advice they might have for the rest of us, if we were to come across a similar situation. Some ministries, like a child who has lost a parent, often times get overlook and we expect the child to deal with the loss the same way an adult does. They don’t. In fact, they deal with very real deep seated emotions throughout the different stages of development.

(Matt Western) #5

I think perhaps Billie was just encouraging both those who have ministries that are seen, and those that do things behind the scenes as well.

From a practical point of view - I imagine it’s very hard to be a pastor without standing at the front and delivering a message to people. :wink: I’ve never met an invisible pastor yet. Hehe…

Also, I think it valuable to be able to share what’s on our hearts in a somewhat anonymous forum to people we’ll never meet in real life so we can discuss the issues and ideas in an empathetic way, and sometimes it helps ‘get it of our chest’ to be able to talk about the deeper concerns we have…

Also, as a hopefully help addition to this conversation I am also reminded of an encouraging passage to those that minister to children or youth in any capacity of their lives.
Matthew 10:42

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

(Billie Corbett) #6

FHello Steven,

My apologies…
By using these verses…I ran the risk of being misinterpreted as to my thought process in conveying them.
I know you were not boasting. I understand what you were hoping to convey. What you are drawing attention to is very precious, honourable, worthy and needed.
My intention was to validate your keeping things secret. To keep this between you and God. I hoped these verses would validate that this, in fact, is appropriate and pleasing to Him.
In the modern church culture…I find there is too much public activity…and not enough “closet giving” of our gifts, talents, love and care. Those whom you give yourself to (in the way you are)…will appreciate it and treasure it. (Even if you never know it.)
I work with troubled adolescences. For a very short time (in the big scheme of things)…I come into their lives (as a total stranger)…for the very purpose of serving them. My role is to provide support…to minister to a specific need, in an appropriate manner, for their stage of development.
I often think of Phillip…(who the Holy Spirit brought to the Ethopian eunuch). Phillip fulfilled the ministry of that moment in time, for the purposes of God…(salvation) then, the Spirit of God, whisked Phillip away.
You may be like this for these young, grieving kids. God may move you into their sphere of influence, for a time…to supply their need for comfort, care, attention, empathy, understanding…
They might not see “His” love and care for them…(through you) till much, much later.
I hope this encourages you…rather than feeling like a discouragement.
Keep blessing those kids…it means the world to them!

(Steven M Levine) #7

@Billie, no apologies necessary. I did not take any offence. I was just clarifying. Know that there a no hard feelings here.

Gods Peace be upon you.

(Billie Corbett) #8