8 Things You Must Know About Ministry
Writing to you about ministry has been on my heart a lot lately. Being that I’m passionate about encouraging and equipping Christian women it only makes perfect sense that I share this topic with you. After all, serving the Lord should be a natural and normal part of a Believer’s life.
So I thought about the cost of ministry to us. What does it entail? What takes place in our hearts? For answers, I turned to one of my favorite portions of the Scriptures where the essence of ministry is written all over it.
While he (Jesus) was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. Mark 14:3
8 Things You Must Know About Ministry
1. You’ll be compelled in ministry. A boldness will come forth through you like never before.
This woman just showed up. She was on a mission. She had a purpose.
What is it that you’re compelled to do? What’s your purpose?
2. You’ll be asked to give up something of great cost.
The alabaster jar of perfume cost a year’s worth of wages. It’s been said that it was like her dowry money. Did she let go of her dream of ever getting married? Why did she use this precious treasure to minister to the Lord rather than save it for herself?
What is it that God is asking you to give up? Is it your time, money, resources, dreams, self, pride, fears?
3. God will break you so you’re of more use for the building of His kingdom.
She had to break the jar in order for it to be useful. Mark 14:3
Where have you been broken? Use that story to further advance the Kingdom of God whether you share your heart with a neighbor, a friend, or a family member. What God has taken you through is for a purpose. Let Him use you and your pain to further lift His name on high. I like to say, “Don’t waste your tears.” 🙂
4. You’ll be ridiculed by believers and non-believers.
Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. Mark 14:4
Is what others think of you more important than what the Lord thinks of you?
Ahh, yes, this one goes straight to our need for approval! We all want to be loved by others, but at what cost? As hard as it is for us to be ridiculed for our honorable actions, beliefs, convictions,etc., the more we’re criticized the more this act will drive us into the arms of our Savior. He is the only ‘in crowd’ that matters. His approval of us is the only approval that we should seek. It’s much easier for me to type these words than to live them, but I will constantly remind myself! 🙂
5. When the criticism comes, let Jesus defend you.
But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? Mark 14:6
This point is probably the one that is most difficult for me to overcome. When my heart is to serve the Lord by serving others and their response towards me is unkind, rude, or harsh, it certainly makes ministry unattractive to my emotional side.
So I have to ask myself, “When I receive criticism, will I let it stop me from ministering to my Lord?” “Over my dead body,” is usually my final answer, that is, after I have already cried for a good 20 minutes after I received the criticism!
6. God will give you insight that others do not have.
She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. Mark 14:8
Do you know that those who ridiculed her for this act of worship were some of the disciples? Men who spent time with Jesus on a regular basis. Yep. And yet they didn’t have the spiritual insight as to why Mary was anointing Christ even though Jesus TOLD them he was going to die. They seemed clueless, but Mary wasn’t. The gal got it.
Did she understand what was about to take place in her Lord’s life because she was constantly sitting at his feet listening to His voice? I believe so. I believe spiritual insight is given when we’re reading the Word and when we turn our ears ever so slightly so we can hear His voice.
Will you use your insightful gift to bless God or will you shy away from it?
7. She had no name.*
“Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Mark 14:9
I love this part of the Scriptures. It really puts the heart motive into perspective. What’s the reason for the ministry and who are you ministering for? To be noticed? Is ministry about you or about the Lord? If no one ever knew your name, would you still minister to Christ?
(*In John 12, this woman is known as Mary of Bethany.)
8. Ministry is an act of worship.
What this woman did for the Lord had nothing to do with her, but everything to do with Him. No matter where you are serving today, whether it be just in your marriage, to your children, within your home or outside of the home, my encouragement to you is to emulate Mary. When we sacrificially pour into our husbands, children, and into others, for the sake of the Gospel message, we become like alabaster jars, pouring out and anointing Christ.
So what do you say? Are you willing to pour your life out for Christ like the perfume from an Alabaster Jar?
Live a poured out life for Christ,
Thank you for writing this. I believe God is showing me, this month, what directions He wants me take, perspectives to keep and what needs to be laid aside. I’m excited, and nervous at the same time! 😀
Thank you again!
That’s great, Peggy! Don’t be nervous, He’s always with you!
Hi Jolene, what a great post. I will think about this as I fall asleep soon 🙂 I thought it was interesting that I just linked a post about my parents marriage and ministry for 70 years after reading your post about ministry. You mentioned giving up something such as time, money, etc. and initially it might seem like you are giving up something. Sacrificing. When a person truly has a servant heart, I don’t think in the long run that they ever feel they gave up something since ministry is such a blessing. I know that writing for my blog doesn’t make me feel that I am giving up anything as it has brought me such joy. Watching my parents over the years, I know they could have had money or other things should they have made different choices for their life, yet, all I see is the richness of their life for eternity as they have served long after ‘retirement’. It has kept them vibrant and far younger than their actual age.
I could read your blog for hours. You have such encouragement here. Have a blessed day.
You are so right about ministry being a blessing! There are aspects to it where it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all, (except when I’m cleaning toilets! 🙂 ). Glad you feel ministered here!
This is fabulous. I’ve been wanting to write about ministry, but it’s not an easy topic to write about (who knows why). Love this!!
Thanks AJ. Write from your heart and then it’ll be easy! 🙂
Your 8 points are spot-on – but the last one was awesome – that it is an act of worship – that is simply beautiful!
Awe, thank you, but I can’t take credit for it. It’s from the Lord! 🙂
Wise words, my friend. Love the part about letting Jesus defend you.
Regardless what ministry we are all involved in, it is true that we need to keep a perspective and remember Who we are doing it for. As you said in #8 whenever we are ministering and serving others we are serving Him! Thanks so much for hosting today and have a lovely week as you continue on your homeschooling journey. I homeschooled for 16 years until mine graduated!
Just like the woman with the jar of nard, true ministry flows from a heart overflowing with love and gratitude towards our Lord.
Thank you for posting this today. In the midst of making a decision & this gave me food for thought. I appreciate it! And thank you for hosting the link up each week too 🙂
I’d add: You must never use ministry to sustain your identity or your spiritual life. Being in ministry is not your source of worth or what defines you as a person. Being in ministry does not replace developing openness toward God.
Thank you, Jolene, for hosting! Love your blog….
be well and God bless
You’re so on here…thanks for sharing your thoughts. It helps to know others experience pretty much the same thing in ministry. I used to think the hardest thing about ministry would be giving up certain aspects of lifestyle that I was used to. Now I think the hardest part is the unseen. The stuff one deals with in the spiritual world…in ones own heart and mind. Much of it being stuff you can’t always share but must keep to oneself. Wrongful accusations, persecution for standing up for what is right and other hard dark experiences. Our response/how we respond to these things is an act of worship.
What about you? What precious perfume is locked inside your heart that could be lavished on our Lord? The little treasures you and I struggle to hold on to may hold back opportunities to worship Him with extravagant praise, releasing ministry and service to Him that will bless all those around us.
Jolene, I just wanted to let you know that this post really reached into my soul! I never thought of this verse in such a way! Wow!
You have given me strength!
Thank you so much!
So happy to hear it ministered to you, Dolly!
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