A note from Kelly King: It’s possible that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to be more “present” in relationships. Whether it’s looking someone in the eye, setting down the phone, or just being more intentional with relationships, we could all learn how to minister in the moment. As you read Simone’s article, I’m praying you will have a God-appointed ministry moment today!
Ministry is difficult but rewarding. True ministry sometimes actually is overshadowed because of the events, programs, and the day-to-day process of administrating a ministry. Because it can be time consuming, challenging, and draining to work with so many different people having such diverse personalities, agendas, and ideas of how things should be done with their varied schedules, strengths, and interests, the call to minister to people can get lost in the shuffle. In other words, it can become more about tasks than about people.
How do we keep this from happening? In the midst of so much to accomplish for ministry to keep moving forward, we definitely need to be able to focus on the people. After all, ministry is people—people and their spiritual walks and their development as leaders of leaders (influencers) who then lead others to become leaders who are learners and the cycle just continues. Another word that could be used here is disciple.
But if we are too busy with our work tasks that we don’t have time to stop for someone who needs to talk, wants to grow, or is in the midst of crisis and needs direction, then we are failing at what ministry is all about…and that is people!
It was some twenty years ago. I was intrigued and challenged as Janet spoke about “ministry in the moment”! We had long talks about why and how she protected herself to be totally available to minister to others as the need arose. She had a family. Her husband was the lead pastor of a large church, and they had children in elementary school. If anyone had excuses not to have time for others, it was she.
Yet, there was always time for the person who had questions concerning their spiritual growth, or a woman in the midst of crisis, or someone who was in need of encouragement or perhaps just needed a friend.
Her impact was vast and amazing. People were drawn to her. She ministered to women from all over the metroplex and beyond, not just women from her church. She never seemed rushed or overwhelmed. She didn’t seem unapproachable or too busy to bother. She was not always off to another Bible study or meeting. She had a persona that welcomed you to stop her and share your need, as though that was exactly why she was there to begin with.
Here is what she shared about how to be available for ministry in the moment:
1. Your daily prayer time becomes the basis for ministry in the moment.
- Pray over God’s scheduling of your time for the day. Ask Him to help you lay down the things that might get in the way as you encounter people—especially the people who are not on your schedule.
- Pray to sense the need of the individual even before they actually talk with you. This makes you sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.
- Pray to keep from having a judging spirit concerning choices and circumstances of the person.
- Pray for your children and/or husband to feel a part of helping these women by their willingness to share their mom/wife and thereby learning ministry in the moment too.
2. Keep your calendar flexible so you have margin if some of your daily tasks for the family are derailed by ministry in the moment opportunities. God gives us our time. Each day is His. Allow Him to decide how it will unfold.
3. Seeing encounters as just that—opportunities. They are people that God has put in your path for a reason and not just more people with problems or needs.
4. Approach each encounter with gratitude and a gracious heart. God is going to teach and grow you far more than the person you have encountered. Thank Him for what He plans to do in you. It is about Him using you and flowing through you to others.
5. Realize that this is the pattern Jesus used in ministry—as you go, wherever you encounter people, whether they are looking for an encounter or not. I am convinced we miss many God moments in our daily lives because we think all important encounters are going to be intentional.
Since that time, using these tips Janet shared with me, I have found joy like never before in ministry in the moment. There are some awesome “God moments” waiting for you and for those to whom you minister. Don’t miss them because of busyness. The most important parts of each day are the souls of the precious people God will put in your path. Take time to capture the magic of ministry in the moment!
As Minister to Women at FBC Wylie, TX, Simone Monroe concentrates her efforts on finding and developing women as leaders and building teams. Before coming to FBC Wylie, Simone served as Women’s Minister at Lake Pointe Church, Rockwall, TX and First Baptist, Dallas, TX. As a trainer with LifeWay for more than 38 years, she has served 20 of those years as a LifeWay Womens Trainer. Simone currently serves on the Board of Directors for Gather, and as advisor/trainer for the International Translators Team for Love God Greatly, both of which are non-profit organizations. Simone’s first book, Own Your Everyday Influence, which she co-authored with Bobi Ann Allen, challenges leaders to live a leadership lifestyle on a daily basis by learning to lead themselves. Her passion is teaching and developing women in order that they might fulfill their God-given potential in God’s calling on their lives. The delight of her life is her two adult sons, their wives, and the nine grandchildren to whom she is known as Mimi.