Friday, August 28

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.


Alan Knox said...


I know exactly what you mean! Intentional service is very important; but spontaneous service is also very important. I think we often trade spontaneous service for potential service (we MIGHT have an opportunity to serve someone else through this thing we have already planned).

Last week, a good friend of mine moved to another city to begin seminary. Unfortunately, the container with all of his belongings arrived on seminary campus on Wednesday. He asked all of his seminary neighbors if they could help him unload. No one could help because it was "church night". When I talked to him on the phone at 10:00 that night, he was unloaded what he could by himself. (By the way, I think most Wednesday night church activities are over well before 10:00 pm.)

I'm sure each of my friends' neighbors had prior commitments and "intentional service" to take care of. Of course, in Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, I'm sure that the Levite and the priest had "intentional service" that they were committed to as well.

When we see a brother or sister (or even someone else) in need, and we have the means to meet that need, it is our responsibility as a child of God to meet that need, even if we have other plans.


GuyMuse said...


Good illustration of the point Mark makes about "ministry happens." When we begin to understand interruptions as equally valid ministry opportunities, and not annoyances that keep us from "real ministry", then we are a lot further along the way of walking in the path Jesus walked.

Mark Finger said...

All authentic (inspired) ministry is a natural by-product of fellowship: with God (foremost) and the brethren (also).

It is a work of the Spirit inspired by our love for God and the brethren.

It never needs planning: it only requires agreement with God's desires.

(Hope this makes sense.)