In this post, I’m sharing why the Church needs you to put on your “ministry shoes.”
My son received a sand/water table as a birthday present one year. I had to buy play sand. I loaded up the kids and drove out to the store. You might know where to find the play sand at Home Depot, but I didn’t.
As soon as I walked in I felt overwhelmed. I asked someone when I arrived and they told me it was down toward the last aisle. I dragged my kids down to the aisles near the other side of the store, traipsing up and down the aisles looking frantically for the play sand, and I couldn’t find it.
Then I was on the search for someone to help me. After awhile I thought maybe all the employees were taking a break at the same time!
Finally, I found someone up a ladder helping someone else with additional customers waiting their turn. Figures. My kids were getting impatient, and I was running out of time. After a few more minutes I gave up in frustration and decided to go down the street to Lowe’s!
I was thinking about this one day and thought, what if it happened this way when someone visited my church? If not everyone is in place to meet ALL the needs WHEN they need to be met, that person might give up and go to another church. They may even decide to forget God altogether and try another “god”!
A New Mindset About Ministry Callings
Look down at your feet. What kind of shoes are you wearing right now? Probably some footwear that is related to the job you do. I’m usually wearing inside/outside slippers, because I’m a SAHM.
We all need shoes, right? There are scores of shoes for all different types of feet and needs. Shoes are for comfort, support, and function, depending on the work for which they were created. We all would pick out different shoes (ones that fit right, and are desirable) because we are all unique.
Let’s say shoes represent ministry callings. In keeping with our analogy, just as our shoes are related to the work we do everyday, our ministry shoes are related to our calling.
We all have a different function in the Body of Christ, but 20% of the people do 80% of the ministry work in the Church.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… Romans 12:4-6 ESV
You might think about your church and say, “It looks like all the ministry areas are filled.” But what if we changed our mindset from looking around and seeing all AREAS filled to looking around and seeing all PEOPLE fulfilling areas.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 1 Corinthians 12:1 ESV
God Determines Your Ministry Shoes
Our heavenly Father determined what your callings and assignments would be. Check out these verses:
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10 ESV
Why We ALL Need to Put on Our Ministry Shoes
All of us need to take our place in the body. Can you imagine a mismatched person? Maybe the leg is coming out where the ear should be and the nose is where the kneecap should be.
Do you know what the results are when the parts of the body are in place? Growth!
From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:16 (ESV, emphasis mine)
On the other hand, when the parts of the body aren’t in place, the results aren’t so favorable: the Church is less visible!
If all were a single member, where would the body be? 1 Corinthians 12:19 ESV
Sometimes we need to change our shoes to get the job done and take up the slack of the one not in place. But if someone has changed their shoes (and maybe put on yours), they are going to be a little awkward in them. They aren’t going to be able to do it like you can! You are needed in the Body of Christ!
Why Isn’t Everyone Wearing Their Ministry Shoes?
I think a main reason we don’t see all people fulfilling the various ministries is due to lack of confidence. The truth is, the confidence isn’t going to come from ourselves. It says twice in 1 Corinthians 12, a foundational chapter on gifts and callings, that it is God who empowers us.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11 (ESV, emphasis mine).
3 Actions to Step into Your Ministry Shoes
You might be saying, “Okay, I hear you, but I have questions!”
The thing is, the enemy would much rather we stay frozen in doubt rather than be productive for God no matter what questions about the future remain unanswered.
At first, we tend to see our calling as a bunch of scattered puzzle pieces. Not a lot makes sense. In that case, do three things:
Take a ministry questionnaire.
Option 1 (email required) or option 2 (free download of the spiritual gifts survey, but you will need to do the scoring). When you get your answers it will get you started. Each time you complete a questionnaire, you will probably find it has changed somewhat. Remember, God will release you into your complete calling in His timing. Spiritual growth is a big part of that.
You have a store credit in God’s shoe store! Put on some ministry shoes and start serving, even if it’s a “ministry of the moment.” Do what you have in front of you to do. You have something of value to contribute now! As you are faithful with the little, God will open the door to much (Luke 19:17). Then we start to see more of the big picture when we start to plug in.
Keep prayer cover going.
Finally, you will see the completed picture when you lock into the calling God placed on your life, but so will the enemy. If you are faithfully serving, he will most likely try to stop what you are doing for God’s glory. Don’t allow that by keeping your calling covered in prayer.
God made you with a unique set of giftings. Find the footwear for your function and start walking!
What are your ministry shoes? If you know, tell me in the comments!
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