Are you dreaming about having a significant and impactful ministry? Do your hopes include huge stadiums, mega-churches and TV studios?
Do you picture yourself teaching and preaching in front of thousands or even tens of thousands?
Perhaps you have imagined yourself flying to far-away places with an entire ministry team ready to cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead.
Allow me to share with you the sweet reality of true ministry.
Ministry does not start in convention halls or on the platforms of the great churches of this nation.
Ministry starts behind closed doors.
The most profound and anointed ministry of your life will not take place on stages or on television networks.
The most profound ministry of your life will happen behind closed doors.
You see the impact of your life will not be measured in numbers but in fruit. It is not the astounding fact that you have been endowed with the tongue of an orator that will determine your lasting legacy. True and eternal legacy is found in how you treat people.
The little people.
The insignificant folks.
Are you kind to the parking lot attendants as they cheerfully park cars and to the receptionist sitting at the front desk?
Do you encourage the woman who has just made 100 lunches for the folks attending the conference?
Do you stop and pray for the grandmother with a walker?
I believe that it is time for all of us who call ourselves "ministers", or "teachers", or "preachers" or "evangelists" to do a little bit of self-examination. Is our focus on the platform or on the people?
If Jesus were ministering today, He would be as focused on the people behind the scenes as He would be on the people in the massive crowd.
Jesus wouldn't throw a fit about the song list, the size of the honorarium or the inadequacy of the accommodations. Jesus would go to the nursery where the volunteers' children had spent the day ... and He would get down on the floor with them and play. Who knows? Jesus might even tell the weary nursery workers to take a coffee break.
It really is more important to be kind than it is to be important. The true litmus test of the degree of kindness that exists in your heart happens behind closed doors.
You can hang up your own coat, fix your own coffee and carry your own Bible. You can.
You can mingle in the auditorium and shake hands with the people who have come to hear you speak rather than be ushered in at the last minute. You can.
You can take the time to thank the kitchen staff, the nursery workers and the parking lot attendants. You can.
You can show the fruit of the Holy Spirit behind closed doors. You can.
"Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master." (Matt. 25:23).
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, will be released on August 1. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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