Doing Ministry in the Everyday

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I used to believe ministry was something done behind church walls. It consisted of small groups and prayer circles spread around a room. It was labeled with prayer requests and Wednesday night youth group time. However, once the walls of the church were left behind in my rearview mirror, I was unsure of what it looked like to me.

I have had the opportunity for the past two years to work on staff at a church. I worked with middle and high schoolers as I helped lead youth group and small groups with them. I got coffee with them and woke up at 6 in the morning for breakfasts. It was beautiful and difficult, and as I found my role in that position coming to an end I wondered to myself “How will I do ministry now?”

There’s a verse that I believe exemplifies ministry well. John 21:12 says “Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” To give some context, this was after Jesus was crucified and resurrected. Jesus appeared to the disciples on the beach for the first time after His death and gathers them to eat. When I first read this verse, I laughed out loud. Jesus is alive again, the disciples are in disbelief, and instead of giving a profound speech Jesus simply says, “Let’s have breakfast together.” It’s incredible. I think this passage is a beautiful depiction of what ministry is. It is gathering people together and simply being present with them and showing them you care. It is asking “let’s have breakfast” or even “let’s get coffee” in order to know their heart more. It doesn’t require a nametag or a position. It requires sacrifice and the willingness to put yourself in a space to love people well.

There is a quote by Bob Goff that says “We don’t need to call everything we do ministry. Just call it Tuesday. That’s what people who are becoming love do.” I love this quote because it is reminder that ministry doesn’t come wrapped up in a pretty bow with positions and leadership. It is in the mundane, messy, ordinary Tuesdays of life that we find ourselves in the position to do ministry with people. People want someone to do life with, and that’s exactly what Jesus did. He shared the dinner table with tax collectors and gathered crowds of the sick and outcast. Jesus didn’t need the walls of a church for ministry, all He needed was people. Let’s stop making ministry sound like a scary thing that can only be done by “more equipped” people.

You are equipped where you are because of the love Christ has placed within in you.

So, take every moment you have with people and be aware of the opportunities to care deeply for the people around you. Take the time to talk with people. Share encouraging words. Start a small group discussion with your friends. Share scripture. Get coffee with those freshman girls you’ve been meaning to reach out to and check on that friend in your class. Whatever loving people looks like for you, that is ministry.

Taylor McElderry // @taylor.mcelderry

 


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Hi friends, my name is Taylor McElderry! I am studying Elementary Education and Non-Profit Organizational Studies at the University of Oklahoma. In order to paint a picture of who I am, here are some things I love: people, coffee, international missions, painting, sunny days, hugs, authenticity, Dr. Pepper, old movies, deep laughter, passionate people, and the Gospel. I love stringing words together in an effort to exemplify Christ and the ways He has changed my heart. I hope that you may find a glimpse of the Kingdom and a friend to walk alongside you through the words I write!