Christians are uniquely positioned to bring a message of hope and redemption to a world broken by poverty, oppression and injustice.
In what way do your writing, speaking, music, publishing and/or other ministries bring hope and redemption to others?
The Ministry of Reconciliation
A number of years ago I read the story of Paul Freed, the founder of Trans World Radio. His desire was for radio broadcasts to help people in their everyday needs, their “everyday experience, everyday life, everyday problems… Gods’ abiding presence in the disappointments, the struggles, and joys of the home, the office, the shop… Sound Doctrine in our programs was essential as a foundation, but we wanted to be sure also to give instruction on how to live the Christian Life.”
These words often echo in my mind when I think about helping people in need. One of my current ministries is through helping others recover from trauma, both through active counselling and through healing prayer ministry.
And yet I look at everyday ministries—to my extended family and friends who are hurting, to other people God brings across my path, in addition to a wider ministry.
As I thought of this month’s theme, I wondered: What is our ministry? How does God give us our ministries? What does he purpose through these ministries?
1. What is our ministry? God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, to reconcile everyone to Himself (2 Corinthians 5: 18-21). We are serving the living God and helping to fulfill His great plans for everyone.
2. God gives us a vision. I'm reminded of Isaiah 6 where the Lord said to Isaiah: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I. Send me!” We respond to God’s prompting.
3. How does God prepare us? In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Paul states that God comforts us in our difficulties so that we can be a comfort to others. We have all known how God’s strength and comfort meets another’s need. Sometimes our personal experiences can lead to a related ministry. For example, those who have gone through a divorce may develop a ministry of divorce care. Or a recovered addict can give a ministry of freedom from addictions.
4. How does God work with us during our ministry? I'm often reminded of Isaiah 50:4. “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, weakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” How many times have words and images come to mind as I'm speaking with others to touch their exact need, a need which I may not even know exists!
5. How does this happen? Jesus spoke to his disciples in Acts 1:8, saying, ”You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” It is through the Holy Spirit that God ministers to other people. We do not have the power to do this in our own strength. God knows the specific need, and He knows the specific means of touching that need. We are his instruments, empowered by His Spirit.
6. How can we more effectively minister? Jesus said, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Prayer is an integral part of reconciling others to God.
There is so much more we can say on this topic. I look forward to our IWO bloggers’ continuing discussion this month.