Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Lives as a Ministry

When I heard Sherri Dew speak at women’s conference, she said one thing that struck me, which I have often thought of since. She said to let our lives be a ministry. This idea has come up again and again in the weeks since then. Cindy Rushton did an online homeschool conference, and in one of the talks, she was speaking about how important it is to put our families first, but then also to enlarge the stakes of our tent. In other words, our family and our home is to be the example and we are to invite others into it, to allow them to have the benefit of the ministry we our performing in our own homes. I like the idea of teaching others how a family that loves and learns together works by opening the doors when appropriate and inviting them in. Of course, this presupposes that our homes are running in a fashion that others would want to emulate. This idea also means that our ministry does not ever interfere with our families, rather it is an extension of it.

Later in the week, I was reading Finding God in the Hobbit, by Jim Ware, and the idea came up again, from a slightly different direction. He shares how when he was young he would read books and then want to live them. One night he wanted to be like Tom Sawyer and so snuck out of his room to meet a friend and sneak down to the railroad tracks where several ramshackle old shacks stood, in the hope of getting a glimpse of some of the railroad tramps. He never made it, though, because his friend never showed up. He then relates this to one summer as an older teen he had a young teacher in Sunday School, who would spend his days trying to share the gospel and do God’s work. On Sundays this young teacher would share the scriptures as one long story of God’s love to us and his plan for us. One day it dawned on the teenage boy that his teacher was taking the story from the Bible and doing exactly what he had done with books as a boy. He was acting them out. He was recreating the story in his life by doing what God had done. He was living the story. In other words he was allowing his life to be a ministry.

Sometimes I have a tendency to want to stay in my home because I can create what I want there, but as a follower of Christ I think it is important to go out and share who we are and what He has done for us, and also to invite others in to our home and let them see how we are different from many other families, because we have the good news of Christ-the gospel.

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