This post is adapted from a discussion board post assignment for my Church Ministries Class based off of a book titled "Be Encouraged!Inspiration for the Pastoral Journey" written by Dr. Ben Gutierrez.
This thread represents the drive and purpose of what I hope for my life ministry to become.
My post is as follows:
My drive and passion for ministry in my life is to be able to bring hope to the hurting, especially those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. I want the way I live my life to encourage those who are suffering with this pain. I want to be a source of comfort to the hurting and be a confidant that can truly empathize with them through my own experience. I want to encourage those I lead by reminding them of God’s sovereignty over every area of their life including the broken, hurting places. Through reminding the hurting of God’s sovereignty, which is not always easily believed, I want them to know God loves them. It’s not easy to feel God’s love while hurting thus I want my love poured into their lives to be an extension of God’s love and mercy at work in their life. I seek to be the vessel used to encourage them by proclaiming God’s love over their lives. Last, but not least I want to encourage them by reminding them of God’s faithfulness, that God can be trusted through the trial even though it hurts. I have seen God’s faithfulness in my life through how He has carried me over the past 3 years since the passing of my mom and I so greatly want that for others.
I can incorporate encouragement to those who lead me in ministry by praying and speaking encouragement. I can begin by praying for my ministry leaders which can be something I neglect to do. I appreciate my pastors and they deserve my prayers for encouragement, after all they are always pouring out encouragement into the congregation. I will try to step out of my comfort zone and actually encourage with words. I will begin to thank my pastors and let them know they are blessings. They need to be edified and refreshed like the rest of us. I want to begin to be intentional in doing these things; I want those whom lead or “follow” me to see me as an edifying person.
Entry #11 titled “Share Your Story of God’s Love” was particularly encouraging to me. I want to “tell them of what the Lord has done for” me so that others can hear my story and believe God can do the same for them and proclaim victory over their lives (Mark 5:19). When Dr. Gutierrez shares that others actually want to hear and will respect my story encourages me to keep going on the path I’m on. I currently write a blog about my faith and grief journey which I hope that if anyone comes across it will be encouraged in their own journey. I find it easy to write about my story, but I am encouraged to use my voice to tell my story and how it can be used for God’s glory. I also need to remember that it is God who does the changing and that I am only the vessel. This gives me a sense of humility and relief. The verse Dr. Gutierrez uses in this chapter (Mark 5:19) depicts Jesus giving instructions to the man cleansed of evil spirits to share his story and not remain idle in his journey. This verse resonates with me because while my mom was in the hospital I prayed “Lord, if you heal her I will dedicate my life to you.” My life being dedicated to God, my calling, and pursuit of ministry was never an “if” and was never negotiable. Here I am almost 3 years later pursuing ministry and reacting to the calling of sharing my story to encourage the hurting. My story of God’s faithfulness and healing can and will edify others to bring glory to God. I am commanded to tell of God’s mercy, so others can experience it for themselves.