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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Ministry Mindset

You no doubt have ready my blog about re-entry.

It’s not the most fun thing to go through.

One of my biggest issues was dragging myself out of bed and actually doing something. Specifically when it came to fundraising for CGA. Or blogging. Or anything really.

I’m a bit of an external processor. I have to either talk, type, or write my way through issues or thoughts. So one night I was typing away on my laptop when a thought hit me that has really changed the way I do my day to day life in the States.

First a little background. On the Race we’d have a different set of contacts every month. Each had different needs, and different things they wanted us to do. Different schedules and different environments. One unspoken rule on my squad was that you did WHATEVER the contact wanted/needed. We are servants first. Our own needs did not generally come before the needs of our contact. And our comfort zone NEVER came before the ministry. Which is why I’ve done the YMCA in front of a Thai school, done no less than 8 nativity plays during Christmas, and been in so many Biblical skits that I can’t hope to remember who I was in each one.

You do what the contact needs. Sometimes that was easier, sometimes it was really hard. Each person had different issues or strengths depending on what the contact had in store for us. My skill set generally wasn’t geared toward the children’s ministry and the skits. But I was all about the manual labor and some of the speaking and fellowship opportunities.

You get the picture.

So cut to about 3 weeks ago. I was hashing things out on my laptop. Trying to figure out how to move forward. Praying the whole time that God would help me out and show me what to be doing. Or more to the point, to give me energy to actually do it.

That’s when He dropped something on me that I couldn’t help but wanna share. Clear as day He gave me this paragraph that I typed as I thought it:

“I am my own ministry right now. Treat yourself like you’ve treated all of your contacts. You wouldn’t let them down by moping, or sitting around. You’d do everything in your power for them, regardless of what they needed. Now do the same for yourself. You need to fundraise. You need to pray for yourself for trust and help. You need to move around and be active. Do that for yourself right now because that’s what you need.”

Maybe this is obvious to other people, but to me it was flipping revolutionary.

Coming home from the field, I had no real direction from the get-go. I was sort of rudderless. I had CGA to look forward to, but couldn't make myself do anything about it. During the Race I always had a ministry to be working towards in some form or fashion.

God was telling me that I don’t have to leave that ministry mindset on the field. In fact, I definitely shouldn’t. Something I’ve always struggled with is doing things for myself, or thinking about how to help myself. I don’t like being the center of attention. Even my own attention, I guess.

He was saying that just because there isn’t some well defined ministry sitting in front of me doesn’t mean that there isn’t a ministry to devote my time to. Sure I could’ve gone and found a church ministry or something around town to pour into, but that’s not what He meant.

He meant that I am my own ministry, just as I wrote 3 weeks ago. What He is saying is that right now I need to gear up and devote time to my own ministry. I need to fundraise, I need to pray about CGA, I need to pray about what I should receive while at CGA.

It’s not self-centered for you to think of yourself as your own ministry contact. It’s not arrogant to go forth and do what you need to do for yourself. If we’re ever going to get to where God wants us, we’re gonna have to spend a lot of time focusing and working on ourselves.

More than that, we need to fight for ourselves. And be willing to do whatever we have to for our own personal ministry. If it helps, think of it not as your own ministry or your own stuff but what God is doing through you. I mean, technically every ministry is God’s ministry. Including yours. You’d work hard for God’s ministry through other people, why not your own?

For those of you like me who are in a slump, why not try this out? Do everything you can to achieve God’s ministry for you. It’s not a self-absorbed tendency. It’s what God wants for you!

Pick yourself up, jot down some goals you need to accomplish, and get after it! This is your ministry right now! Go for it with gusto! If you’re ever going to get where God wants you, you have to think of yourself as your ministry. I mean shoot, no matter where you end up it’s going to be a ministry anyway. Why not go ahead and get in the swing of things?

Get into the mindset. Who knows, maybe it’ll give you the kick you need!

Seth


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