Nearly everyone can relate to feeling like a loser. Maybe someone treated you like you were worthless. Or you have allowed your mistakes to create a negative image of yourself. And now every setback feels like proof that you aren’t any good.
When I was growing up I loved baseball. I couldn’t wait to play Little League. I was 9 years old playing on my first team. We didn’t have t-ball or even coach-pitch. We were straight to kid pitch and they were pretty wild.
The first couple of times at bat I ended up striking out. The pitchers were older and I was slower at the bat. I was so dejected. There’s nothing like having to walk back to the dugout and face your teammates after you struck out.
So my coach suggested a plan. Since I was young, and shorter than the other players, he told me to crouch down as low as I could and give the pitcher a small strike zone. I did and the next pitcher walked me on four straight pitches. I continued to work this angle and walked every time. By the end of the season, I never got a hit. I didn’t need to. I struck out twice and walked 16 times. I had the best on base percentage of any of the players. I found my niche in Little League.
This same principle is what God uses in our church. Every person has a niche. There is something that you can do exceptionally well that will help the overall ministry of our church. Don’t stress over what you can’t do. But discover what you can do and do it.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)
From this passage you can find four principles to Discover Your Ministry.
1 – Every Believer is a Minister
Every believer isn’t a pastor, but every believer is called to ministry – to the world and to the church. Service in the church body isn’t optional for Christians. In God’s army, there are no volunteers – He’s drafted all of us to service. To be a Christian is to be like Jesus. Notice why He came – Mk 10:45. Service is the defining characteristic of the Christ-like lifestyle.
2 – Every Ministry is Important
There are no ‘little people’ in the body of Christ, and there are no ‘insignificant’ ministries. Every ministry is important. Some ministries are visible and some are behind the scenes, but all are equally valuable. Small ministries often make the greatest difference. The most important light in the house is not the large chandelier in the dining room but the little nightlight that keeps you from stubbing your toe when you get up in the middle of the night. It’s small, but it’s more useful than the ‘show-off’ lights.
3 – We are Dependent on Each Other
Not only is every ministry important, every ministry is also intertwined with all the others. No ministry is independent of the others. Since no single ministry can accomplish all the church is called to do, we must depend on and cooperate with each other. Like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece is required to complete the picture. You always notice the missing piece first. When one part of your body malfunctions, the other parts don’t work as well. One of the missing components in many churches is the understanding of interdependence. We must work together. Our culture’s preoccupation with individualism and independence must be replaced with the Biblical concept of interdependence.
4 – Ministry is the Expression of our Uniqueness
When God created animals, He gave each of them a specific area of expertise. Some animals run, some hop, some swim, some burrow, and some fly. Each animal has a particular role to play based on the way they were shaped by God. The same is true with humans. Each of us was uniquely designed by God to do certain things. If you don’t understand yourself, you end up doing things that God never intended or designed you to do. When your gifts don’t match the role you play in life, you feel like a square peg in a round hole. This is frustrating, both to you and to others.
Seven Unique Contributions God has been Building in You to Allow You to Serve:
- Spiritual gifts are not talents, fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23), or positions in the church. They are divine capacities given to each Christian for service within the local church. Every believer has a blend of at least one of the spiritual gifts.
- Heart. Physically, each of us has a unique ‘heartbeat.’ Each person’s heart beats in a slightly different pattern. Likewise, God has given each of us a unique emotional ‘heartbeat’ that races when we encounter activities, subjects, or circumstances that interest us. We instinctively feel deeply about some things and not about others. Another word for heart is ‘passion.’ There are certain subjects that you feel passionate about and others you couldn’t care less about.
- Abilities are the natural talents that you were born with or have developed. Some people have a natural ability with words…they come out of the womb talking! Other people have natural athletic abilities…they excel in physical coordination. Some people are naturally good with numbers…they think mathematically and can’t understand why you don’t grasp calculus!
- Personality. God does not use a ‘cookie cutter’ to create people. He loves variety. He made introverts, extroverts, people who love routine and those who love variety. Some people are ‘thinkers’ and others ‘feelers.’ When you minister in a manner that is consistent with the personality God gave you, you will experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness. It feels good when you do exactly what God made you to do. Four basic temperaments are to be found in mankind, though no person is a single temperament type: Melancholy, Phlegmatic, Choleric, Sanguine.
- Experiences. God never wastes an experience. Romans 8:28 reminds us, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Five areas of experience: Education, Vocation, Spiritual, Ministry, Painful.
- Time. Life on earth is short. And we want to have a positive impact for Christ on our world in the amount of time we have remaining. But for most of us, making it through each day is a lot like wrestling a gorilla. You can’t stop when you get tired; you stop when the gorilla gets tired. How in the world can we take on any more? The real difficulty is not the lack of time but what we do with the time we have. Some exchange time for money, nothing, possessions. I encourage you to exchange time for something eternal. Each ministry will cost you a certain amount of time. Check and maybe rearrange your time schedule to minister within this church.
- Spiritual Maturity. Christians reside on different levels of maturity, and certain ministries would be appropriate for some levels but not for others. The apostle John categorized growing Christians into different levels of growth. Baby – convert, Child – Disciple, Worker – Adolescent, Adult – Leader.
There’s a Danish proverb that says, “What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.”