Real Ministry Can Be Real Messy

Years ago I remember a young family in our church. They had two boys. Across the street was a family with several other boys, whose house was literally in shambles and their home life wasn’t good.
They reached out to the family and brought the boys to church, where they were taught the Bible. Their kids played together and you could see them making a real effort to reach these boys for Jesus.
The next Sunday all the boys came to church with burr hair cuts. While they were sharing the Gospel, the boys unknowingly were sharing lice.
Ministry can be messy.

That’s not what we always want to hear, but I promise you, it’s true. Ministry is messy because our world is messy and appears to be growing increasingly messier by the day. It’s making lice look like a walk in the park.


So how should you respond?
First, if you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re called to ministry. Every member is a minister. You may never be more like Jesus than when you’re serving others. I am so grateful for personal friends of mine, people just like you, who each week speak in the jail, visit nursing homes, build wheel chair ramps, help the displaced find housing, listen to the those who are hurting and more. Understand that ministry is not something we pay others to do, but it’s a life-long calling for every believer. And yes, sometimes it’s messy.
Second, there is nothing too difficult for the Lord. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).” Don’t be overwhelmed by what appear to be monumental tasks. What we see as mountains are only molehills to God. “Our God weighs the islands as though they were fine dust (Isaiah 40:15).”
Third, do not underestimate the power of prayer. You were not called to shoulder heavy burdens. You were called to “come boldly to the throne of grace so you might find mercy and grace to help in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16).” Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer” and that “we ought always pray and never give up.” There is great power in prayer because there is great power in God. Something very unique can occur when people gather to call upon the name of the Lord.


The family never gave up on the boys. I would see them regularly at church as they continued to give them rides. I lost touch with the family after we moved away but I sometimes look back, laugh and wonder how their lives were now different because of someone’s love and perseverance. There are some things we may never know this side of heaven.

Are you ready to get messy?


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