As a parent of a special-needs child, there are many mundane, repetitive tasks that I must do, and sometimes in my weariness and impatience I say to myself “What’s the point of this? What is this really accomplishing anyway?” You’ve probably said the same thing too, even if you’re not a parent or don’t have a special-needs child—there are certain things that all of us do which prompt us to ask that question “What’s the point?”
That same question needs to be considered when it comes to serving in ministry in the church. Every ministry obviously has a stated purpose of what it’s aiming to accomplish, but what we often miss is that every ministry also has a deeper and further-reaching purpose that comes out of its connectedness to the overall mission of the church. If we are to be truly effective in the ministries God has given us, we need to understand this reality and seek to carry out not just the task we’ve been assigned but also the more foundational mission that gives significance to the task.
So what is the point (the larger purpose) that drives each of the particulars of ministry that you carry out? Do you realize there is a bigger goal that connects the ministry you do to the ministry that others do?
Here’s an example: If you serve as a greeter, your assignment is to stand near the entry doors and give smiles and warm welcomes and handshakes (and occasional hugs) to all those who come through the doors of our church. But there’s a bigger purpose to being a greeter than simply greeting people. Greeters are part of Enfolding Ministries, the purpose of which is to enfold believers deeper into the community and ministry of the church so that they will grow toward maturity in Christ. So by greeting people you are not only extending kindness to welcome them but you are helping them grow toward maturity in Christ!
Likewise, if you serve in Children’s Ministry, you aren’t just leading songs or shushing rowdy kids or teaching a Bible story, but you are making disciples and equipping leaders. If you serve as a Friday morning volunteer, you aren’t just stuffing programs but you are building up the Body of Christ. If you serve at the Community Pantry, you aren’t just giving food to people in need but you are building bridges for the Gospel to be proclaimed in La Puente. Wherever you serve, there is a point to it that is greater than simply the immediate task you are doing—so serve with that larger goal in mind. (And if you’re not yet serving anywhere, find a place and serve, not just so that a task gets accomplished but so that the Church is built up and God gets all the glory He deserves!)