Wednesday, May 30

Ministry happens

One of my mottos is "ministry happens." I think that at least 90% of the ministry that happens in the gospels is spontaneous. Jesus was headed from one place to another and an opportunity would present itself. Jesus was willing to get off the beaten path and take the road less traveled. He didn't see them as detours or dead ends. Too often we mistake human interruptions for divine appointments.
--from a Mark Batterson message entitled "Wild Goose Chase."
For people like myself who are geared toward intentional ministry, the above thought is a needed reflection. Am I too busy to take time for someone interrupting "my ministry?" Am I so geared towards that 10% intentional ministry that I overlook the 90% God sets in my path daily?

Is not that 90% as much "real ministry" as the 10% I set out to accomplish?

"Intentional ministry" people often hide behind the excuse of thinking we are too busy with real ministry. We simply do not have time for unplanned spontaneous ministry. The reality is we view our own agenda as more important than the needs of others. Their need for feedback and/or attention is secondary to our accomplishing our more important intentional ministry agenda.

Was that Christ's attitude who often left the crowds and made time to go eat at Zaccheus' house? Healing blind beggar Bartimaeus? Stopping in his tracks on his way to a resurrection when the woman touched the hem of his robe? Taking time for the children, leaving the crowds to wait? 90% of ministry happens when we seize those spontaneous opportunities that come disguised as detours or interruptions.


Burkhalter Ministry said...

Someone once told me... the interruptions in life are the ministry.
Good points.

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Guy, Guy, Guy!

What would Rick Warren say about that quote?!

I knew a church that was so intentional they left no room for divine interruptions. I asked them what they would do if someone came and asked them to start a church in a given part of the city (their plan was to grow till they reached a magic number of 1,000 and then start new churches). The pastor told me he would tell them it was not God's plan for them to start a new church. It was then that we parted company.

God will and does interrupt our plans. I resist it when I am not walking in the Spirit. I can't see it, because I am too full of my own plans. But when I am walking in the Spirit I can perceive when an interruption is divine or when it is just plain devilish.

Struggling along with you on this,


GuyMuse said...


We're getting excited about your coming to be with us in just a couple of more weeks! I'm sure there will be plenty of "interruptions" to plans while y'all are here. I'll just remind you then of this post! :)


Glad you're back in the saddle again. Trust you had a good trip up north. I guess the reason I identify so much with this quote is that it seems to be the story of my missionary career! I'm just glad to finally find someone who affirms that interruptions are 90% of ministry!

Geoff Baggett said...

An excellent word of reminder. I've tried to limit my "intentional" ministry tasks to a certain number of hours each week. I try to leave at least half of my time open to "go with the flow."

It's changed my ministry life. Now, when I am with people, I am no longer thinking, "I need to move on ... I have stuff to do."

People can tell when you are preoccupied. Ultimately, it devalues them and hurts our ministries. Thanks for reminding us that the people ... the relationships ... are the most important bridges of ministry in our lives.


GuyMuse said...


Your intentional "go with the flow" is good advice. People really do sense when we are just tolerating them and have more urgent things rather than giving them our full attention.

S.A.M. said...

Kind of reminds me of the Pharisees rebuking Jesus for healing someone on the Sabbath. Good points and good encouragements, since 99% of my life feels like interruptions. (well, at least it seems that way!)


GuyMuse said...


How is the house selling coming along, any news yet? I know what you mean by 99% of life being interruptions! Missions seems more like that which is taught in Physics Quantum and caos theories than any standardized laws governing the universe :)

S.A.M. said...

Thanks for asking, Guy. We have dropped the price, had lots of traffic, but no offers yet. We're still trusting in Him! It will happen, even if it is when we are on the field. That is one of the main distractions and taking up 98%. The kids take the other 1%.


GuyMuse said...


You must be distracted: 98% + 1% doesn't add up! :)

S.A.M. said...

1% under control! (Maybe)