Home > Apply It >
.
How to Grow Your Own Ministry
.
By Rich DuBose

Photo: Dreamstime
Life is about more than turning a profit, striking deals, and being productive. Periodically it is about "wasting" time with people, nurturing friendships, watching sunsets and making music. It is about hearing God speak through children, dogs and cats. It is about talking with little old ladies, and sharing ice cream with a homeless drifter. Of course, honest work pays lasting dividends, but only to those who realize what they're here for. In the end, it is not about how much money we have made, or have saved--but how much of our time and treasure we have invested in others.

Do you feel the tug to embark on a new mission for God? To step out of the routine and into a life of service to others? Our sense of fulfillment is directly related to our willingness to venture out and respond to the promptings and ideas that God sends our way. The problem is, so many of us are on autopilot with our unending to-do lists, we seldom have time to hear God's invitation to adventure through service! A unique kind of joy awaits each one who is ready to accept God's challenge! 
 
Here are some tips to help you listen, identify and follow God's call: 
 
1) Be still. Read Psalm 46:10 and allow it to permeate your heart. Make a list of the things in your life that presently give you a sense of unrest. Conclude your meditation by reading Mark 4:39.  
 
2) Listen carefully. Read Luke 9:28-35. Listen for signals from God. For a period of time, avoid television, radio and Internet media outlets so you can clear your mind. As you go through the day, pause to jot down your thoughts. Listen more carefully to the people around you. At the end of your prayer times, be quite for a while before you finish.  
 
3) Look at the trend of your life. What areas of interests do you have? How has God led in your past? Make a list of the things you like to do. 
 
4) Seek input from a friend. Ask a friend to give their perspective on your strengths as they relate to starting a ministry.  
 
5) Make a decision. Starting a ministry doesn't have to be frightening or permanent. Don't be afraid to experiment. You may go through several ideas before you find one that fits you. You may also want to establish a particular time frame for your efforts.  
 
6) Think big, start small. One man decided to start a ministry of encouragement by sending out cards and notes to people in need. If there are others who share a similar interest this could be expanded to a team effort. An academy chaplain and some students decided to send letters of encouragement to local church leaders throughout their conference. The ripple effect from such efforts is healing. 
 
7) Give it Time. Whether you're starting a small group, sharing your music in a coffee house setting, creating uplifting graphics for a web page, or visiting shut-ins, give it time. Ask yourself, "what am I expecting to get out of this?"

Ultimately, ministry is about touching lives and sharing hope. As you committ your plans and dreams to God, be ready to experience an incredible journey of discovery, challenge, and joy!  
______________________________

Rich DuBose is Director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference 2016.
AdventSource Calendar
Breath of Life
Faith for Today
It Is Written
La Voz (Spanish)
Living It
ChurchApplied Videos
Voice of Prophecy
Adventist Book Center
AdventSource
The Hope Channel