I love ministry, I really do. But one of my pet peeves is people calling me to do their ministry for them. When God puts someone in your life that needs loving, serving or ministering to … YOU do it. If you need help, I’ll help you … but you try it first. For example, I never mind people calling me and saying, “Can you go check on my neighbor, he’s just had surgery.” I don’t mind one bit, but I must warn you, if you call me and ask me to go check on someone I will ask you, “Have you visited with him first?” If you say, “No,” I will tell you, “God put him on your heart and in your life for a reason. You go check on him first and then I’ll be more than happy to check on him after that.”
Don’t ask me to do something that God is wanting you to do.
This also happens on a regular basis when we have a homeless person come though our community. It’s not unusual for someone to call me and say, “There is a homeless man out here at McDonalds, can you come see if he needs anything?” I regularly respond with, “I’ll be happy to, right after you ask him if he needs some lunch or something else first.” I’m not being lazy or mean, I just want people to stretch in their faith and do things that might make them a little uncomfortable.
Recently this really hit home when one Sunday afternoon my 16 year old son made a trip to Walmart to pick up some things for his mom. Not long after he left he sent me the following text message…
CONNOR: “Dad, there’s a homeless man sitting out here at Walmart.”
ME: “Awesome, see what he needs and I’ll be right out.”
ME: “Yes … you. God put him in your life … you can help him.”
CONNOR: “I am helping him.”
ME: “Great, in what way?”
CONNOR: “I’m helping him by sending YOU a text message and telling you to come help him.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at Connor because I knew this was out of his comfort zone. He has been with me many times when we’ve picked up homeless people and given them rides or help … but he’s never been the one doing the helping. After a little encouragement Connor bought him a bottle of water and by the time I got out to Walmart he was gone. I was proud of my son and his willingness to show love to someone that made him a bit uncomfortable. I hope he remembers what Jesus said in Matthew 10, “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
How about you? Where can you stretch in your faith this week and minister to someone else?