What Would I Do?

“If time, money and human resources were unlimited and you could start a new ministry next month, what would be its focus?   We’re not talking details … rather, what would it generally address?”

This is one of the questions I ask people as part of the spiritual gifts assessments we’re doing at St. Paul’s, and I think it’s a good one for all of us to ponder.  Answering this question honestly will tell you where your true passions for service lie.  What ministry did God give you a special heart and desire to accomplish?

In my own case, it would definitely be something educational, but educational in a way that helped people to grow spiritually.  Maybe a “school of religion”  that offered classes to ordinary Christians about prayer, spiritual disciplines, spiritual gifts and the like.  I’m attracted to equipping ministries which are defined as:

Equipping Ministries: The heart of these ministries is maturing believers in the area of their gifts, ministry, training and leadership.  It serves a variety of life stage and affinity-based groups for growth, accountability and service.

Your passions may lead you in a very different direction.  Maybe you’re interested in caring for others, evangelism, or offering hospitality.  Maybe you’re interest is in the worship service itself, or in supporting other ministries in different ways.  Whatever your passion, when you find it, and then do it, you’ll feel God’s pleasure.  He made us to serve.  What kinds of service attract you?  I really would like to hear from our other authors and our readers.

“There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;  and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them in every one.”  1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

Mi Casa Uptown – a review

Mi Casa Uptown: Learning to Love Again by Rich Pérez is a good read if you are thinking, or are in, a urban setting or if you are thinking about doing missions work in the city.

Rich Pérez is from New York City; Washington Heights to be exact.  He left there to go to college and seminary and then returned to his neighborhood because he feels deeply about connecting with neighbors.  In this book he explains how we’ve become disconnected to our neighbors and how, with God’s help, we can become connected again.

One point that Rich makes that hit with me was that to engage in any community, humility is needed:

“Humility is a posture that demands intentionality and sacrifice; it demands a compelling example.  It’s sacrifice and not entitlement that inspires authentic relationship.  In the end, thriving communities are not monolithic communities, where one group or culture runs the show.  Instead, the kind of humility I’m referring to is revolutionary – quite literally helping to shift the way neighborhoods exist.  Humility inspires people to live differently toward on another and, more important, honors the stories that have existed before your own by dignifying them rather disregarding them.”

Even though I enjoyed this book, I had a hard time relating to it.  I come from a rural background and have never really engaged the Hispanic community.  Even so, I found quite a few “take-aways” about how to live in community.  I give this book a solid three stars.