Welcome back to The Grace Challenge series. Today I’m discussing grace in ministry, more specifically, outside ministry as opposed to ministry within the confines of our marriage, family, and home. And if you work outside of the home, your place of business can certainly be a mission field for you to show the love of Christ. So stay with me in this post because I believe what I’m sharing here will help you in the workplace as well.
Let me give you a little background into my journey of outside ministry…
I’ve been serving the Lord since 1997 and during these past 17 years, I’ve ministered in many different facets and roles. I learned that I’m quite passionate about ministry, but more specifically, women’s ministry. That’s where my heart beats fast. It’s you, the Christian woman, that I’m drawn to. You are the woman I want to pour into. You are the woman I want to encourage, equip, and inspire to live for Jesus Christ.
So, now that you know my mission field, you can probably imagine the wounds I experience from those that I minister to, right? Yes, on many occasions I have been deeply hurt by my sister in Christ.
My character has been attacked. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been lied about. And rumors about me have been spread by those I spent my time ministering to. These are just a few things that have happened to me in real life.
Being that I spend a large majority of my time serving in this on-line world, the attacks are even greater here because when people are behind a screen, they have a tendency to lash out even more so. They’ve called me foul names, they’ve attacked my marriage, they’ve said they feel sorry for my children, and they’ve even said I need to go to counseling because something is seriously wrong with me. I have women, those who call themselves Christians and those who are not, who come to this site that absolutely hate me and the things that I stand for.
So why do I share my wounds with you? Because I’m sure you have a few wounds of your own as you’ve ministered to others. I’m sure it’s difficult for you to extend grace to someone who has hurt you as you’ve tirelessly served them, just like it’s difficult for me to do the same. My natural tendency is NOT to offer grace, but to defend my position and perhaps, depending on the mood I’m in, go so far to lash out at my attacker! But these things are not Christ-like. They don’t bring honor to my Lord. They don’t lift His name on high. If anything, these actions and attitudes lift my name on high. Convicting concept, isn’t it?
Let me point out something else that should minister to your heart. All of the other posts I’ve written in this series have been about your marriage, or your mothering, or managing your home, etc. The pattern here is the word your, which obviously means it’s something that belongs to you. Yet, I’ve purposefully chosen not to use the phrase your ministry in this post and here’s why…
When you and I can come to grips with the fact that it isn’t our ministry, but rather, it’s the Lord’s and we’re mere vessels serving Him by serving others, then this is when our pride will diminish.
This is when we’ll make things about the Lord rather than ourselves.
This is when we’ll choose to decrease so God can increase in our lives.
This is when all we’ll want to do is make sure others see Jesus and not ourselves.
When the purpose in ministry is to be a mere messenger for Jesus Christ, then it will be far easier for us to be gracious in our response to those who have offended us.
4 Ways to Grow in Grace in Ministry
1. Dwell on the Scriptures rather than the offense committed against you.
2. Please the Lord rather than man.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
3. Know that growing in grace takes time.
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
4. Purpose in your heart to be a gracious woman.
Will you choose to be a gracious messenger? Will you be the example of grace that others need to see?
I’ll be taking next Wednesday off from this challenge, so join me the following week, Dec. 3rd, for week #7: Grace in Your Friendships.
Prior posts in this series:
More posts related to ministry:
Live a poured out life for Christ,