By: Dwayne Parton

Some Thoughts on Ministry

Forced ministry is like forced love. You can’t make someone love you. You can try and try but you can never make them give you their heart. Love occurs naturally. It’s the result of an overflowing enjoyment of another persons prescience. It starts with a look, a conversation, and it blooms into one of the most beautiful things in humanity. When someone is in love, you see it. It permeates through them. Ministry is like love.

I’ve been processing this idea for some time now. The idea that ministry is a natural byproduct of our salvation. Meaning, because we believe, we can’t help but do ministry. Because His love is so great for us, it is impossible for us to prevent Him from permeating through. It’s not forced but is rather a light that shines naturally through each of us. An expression of His love for us and our love for Him. A response.

It’s tricky because immediately I start thinking that the more I love God the more His love will permeate through me. Then I start trying to define what that looks like. I start acting on those definitions to show, or maybe prove to myself, how much I love Him. A vicious cycle I think we are all guilty of on some level.

When I was younger, someone told me “Never say ‘Amen!’ until you can no longer restrain yourself from saying it.” It has stuck for a while. Kind of an odd thing to stick, but I think the idea is right. Don’t force the “Amen” just wait until you can’t help yourself. That might not ever happen, but when it does you’ll know you mean it. You won’t have to wonder about your motives because you’re not trying to prove anything. You’re just responding.

I don’t have some concrete answer stating what ministry looks like or is. I don’t know if it’s possible. But I am curious what it would be if I didn’t make it look like my own definitions. Maybe it wouldn’t look like anything. I can’t help but think that just as impossible as it would be to hide sun, it would be even more impossible hide the creator of the universe. If He is in me, at some point people will see Him and not the screw up that I am. And if people see Him, then isn’t that ministry?