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The Privilege of Ministry

The other day, on one of the Christian forums I visit on the ‘net, someone suggested that I was something special because I do mission work. It set me thinking a bit – not that I’m special, but that my call is an awesome privilege. I don’t always remember this – sometimes I get so caught up in the challenges that I lose sight of it. I was grateful to my brother for causing me to refocus. Maybe some of you also lose sight of the wonder of your call from time to time. I’m sharing my reply to him below, as a reminder to all of us:

I don’t see myself as anything special. I’m just a very ordinary woman upon whom, for reasons best known to Himself and totally incomprehensible to me, God has chosen to put His finger. My calling is as much “by grace” as my salvation – it has nothing to do with my worthiness, my ability or my effort; and God could just as easily have called me to be a janitor.

I think the call to ministry in any form is the most wonderful honor any person can receive. My primary call is to preach – to stand before people with the word of the Lord. In nearly 34 years as a preacher, I don’t think I’ve ever stood before a congregation without the sense of “this is that for which I was created.” How many people get to say that? My secondary call is as an intercessor – to come before God bringing the needs of people. To me, those two things – to stand before man on behalf of God and to stand before God on behalf of man – are the most incredible privileges in the world, and I get to do both of them. How awesome is that?!

Sure, missions has its challenges (fortunately, God in His wisdom created me with the kind of personality that thrives on challenge, and with a totally warped sense of humor that can usually wring a laugh out of the most bizarre situations.) But the blessings infinitely outweigh them. I get to go places most people only dream of; and in those places I get to do and experience things that the average visitor never will, because I’m living with the people not in a hotel. I get to minister to people who have truly hungry hearts for the things of God. How many preachers in the west can say they’ve had a whole congregation – or, on occasion, a whole village – respond to an altar call? (And not a call to “come and get the goodies”, but one to a real, costly commitment to the service of the King?) I get to go into situations where I’m forced into dependence upon the Holy Spirit, because I’m operating way beyond the level of my own ability. I get to sow into the lives of men and women who will be greater than I ever will, some of whom will turn their nations around for Christ.

After nearly 34 years, in spite of the challenges, the frustrations, the hurts, and the sheer hard work, there are still times when I want to pinch myself and ask “Why me? Why would God give me this honor?”

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