November 20, 2007

I minister....but.."Is it enough?"

Two years ago, our church had arranged a child Evangelism Program (CET) for those people who were interested in ministering among children. After months of prayer and preparation, this program was conducted exclusively for 40 trainees for 6 days. Training was intense through sleepless nights and great hard work put in by each trainee, they slowly learned the basics of child evangelism.

The results of this program was seen a couple of months later when few of them who were led by the Lord decide to start a Children's Club (CC) at their local area. A Children's club is a small gathering of children (mainly non-Christians) from a local area. Started with one now has gone up to five and they plan to have a sixth one. The objective of the CC is to teach the Word of God to these non-Christian children through songs, stories, memory verses and games and thus share the gospel of Christ to these young hearts. Put together all the CC, we have around 150 children attending the CC regularly! Praise God for that.

This ministry slowly started growing and this month our church could organize a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for these kids. After much prayer and seeking God's will, this 3 day long VBS was organized for the children from all the 5 CC. Praise God we had an average of 135 children who attended this VBS. Stories were taught from the Bible, new songs were taught, memory verses were taught, games were played, interactive sessions were conducted for these kids and much more, so that the word of God could change the lives of these children

When you look at these children, they come mainly from the poor sector of the society, living in slums and people who can do a little more than live from hand to mouth. However, when you go to pick them up for the VBS, they are out of their bed in a jiffy and hurriedly they will make sure that they be there along with a couple of friends. Even before the song starts they come prepared with a list of their own songs which they have learnt before during the Children's club. They sing their lungs out during the singing sessions which sometimes makes us ashamed because we would never have heard the church sing together so loud. The enthusiasm in them is always vibrant those three hours of learning and fun. By time, they forget about their problems and worries and participate in each activity with a smile coupled with joy which we hardly find in people now-a-days.

Behind the scenes, there were many people labouring hard for these ministries. People volunteering right from the youngest to the eldest. People who took leave from their jobs to make it sure that all go well. People who ensured that the children could be transported safely. People who took the initiative in getting the snacks ready, in getting the various arrangements for gifts and stationary possible. People who spent hours preparing from the Word of God to teach these children. People who ensured all the people be informed so that they can pray regularly for the VBS. People who spent hours in the presence of the Lord in prayer and intersession for this ministry. People who played music and sang songs, did the choreography for the songs.

Only few has been mentioned and a lot left unmentioned. We had around 50 volunteers who actively participated in ensuring the VBS went well. An encouragement to the assembly and a new warmth to the volunteers who were challenged to serve God.
"Its the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes."

"But is it enough?"

"Have all that we have been doing enough? Should our ministry be restricted only to that level? Should we constrain ourselves and contain the love of Christ?"

Certainly no!
A ministry is just a stepping stone to expand it for God at various levels at various fields. The harvest is ready but will the laborers be few? Serving God cannot be just restricted to a mission field. It spreads to and first begins at the church where we have fellowship with our brethren. Its the love of God that motivates each one of us to his service. It manifests itself among the society in which we live and slowly reaches out to this world. It understands the need of the hour and fulfills a humble ministry towards it.

We serve not people but God. Therefore let's glorify God through the ministry. God doesn't look at the amount of stuff that I have done for him, neither looks he at how many people came to know about the service I did for him, nor does he look at the merits I have in church. God, well, just looks at the attitude with which I serve him. He's not bothered about the level of service that I have done for him, but he is worried whether I did it for Christ or not, whether I did it in the right spirit. He calls us to an humble service keeping behind the strength of self.

A parable Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 20:1-16
A well known parable it is. But the message conveyed in the parable is very important. The laborers who had come early in the morning were the selected lot of skilled laborers who boasted in their merits. Hence they argued with the Lord over their wages and settled to a penny. But the people who were hired later weren't the skilled lot of people and bargaining for their wages weren't their cup of tea because they were forced to be happy with whatever the Lord gave; after all they were slaves with no merits. At the end of the day we see the Lord giving each one of them equal wages from the last to the first.

The Lord wasn't worried about how much they served him but was looking at their heart to see whether they did it actually for him. The skilled lot of people boasted about their art in labouring while the other lot didn't have anything to boast about. At the end of the day, the fellow who worked for 12 hours earned the same wages as that fellow who worked for 1 hour.

Lot more to learn from the parable but time suffices me. Denying your self by surrendering yourself to the Master's will as his slaves, not expecting anything from him, laboring for him with a humble heart and with the right attitude is what service can be defined as.

At the end of the day, one who has served the Lord sincerely should say,
"We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." (Luke 17:10)

God has blessed each one of us with so many talents and spiritual gifts. Let's identify them and use them for his service, for his ministry, for his glory.

I am really keen on knowing what are the different ways you have served God and what are the different ways in which we can serve God and thus reach out to the church, the believers, friends and the world as a whole. Please comment

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