The cost of ministry – Part Two

Ministry is tough work.  We aren’t doing anything that extraordinary or that special.  We are just trying to love people.  We are just trying to help.  We have helped the people God has brought us.

Today I struggle yet again with the ministry.  I love control, and darnit, things are beyond my control!  I can’t control how many people that God leads into our doors at church.  I can’t control people’s thankfulness or lack thereof.  I can’t control people’s behavior.  I can’t control this ministry.

I get so frustrated when we help and help and then watch the same behaviors creep up.  They fall prey once again to the addictions.  They fall prey to the devil and his devices. I watch people we invest in give it all up yet again.

Yet, it isn’t our ministry.  It is HIS.  It isn’t our time that we are investing.  It is HIS.  Really this is no different than what I was blogging about yesterday.  Sure, yesterday was about money that wasn’t mine to begin with, but today it is time that isn’t mine either.

Aren’t we supposed to just GO?  We go without promise of a favorable result. We do without promise of an expected outcome.  We give without caring about a person’s thankfulness.  We are just to give.


Give my time.

Give my resources.

Give my heart.

Give my desires.

Give my need to control.

My ways are not His ways, and His plan is so much bigger than mine.

and the exciting thing…  I get to be here to watch!


The cost of ministry

What is the cost of ministry?

Lately I have often faced this question.  I don’t know if we are supposed to count the costs of our ministries, and I wonder at what point do we consider stewardship principles.

Tonight, I deal with another financial loss.  JP just called to inform me that our brand new mower will not work.  He was going to do our little side job that we have done over the years for a little extra cash.  It isn’t a big job, but it usually gives us a small lump sum towards the end of summer to purchase school supplies or clothes, pay for a little fun, or some other need as it arises.  He wasn’t able to mow because our mower is broke.

Our mower is broke because someone else was helping us mow the lawn (and helping means that we were letting him work off some money we “loaned” him) and hit the metal culvert.  Jp heard the noise, but was assured that it was just fine.   He put on the blade, and it was going to be a-okay.  Now, we can’t mow our lawn.

In Jp’s rant, he mentioned the many other monetary losses that we have experienced:  A broken patio table, a stolen this or that, a borrowed this or that that has never returned…  I, too, am disheartened at the loss of a brand new mower.

The Pollyanna in me has decided that it will probably be a temporary set back, and the mower will be able to be fixed by someone less emotionally attached and more mechanically inclined that my dear husband.  It is going to be fine!…  right?

I can dwell on the losses.  I can dwell on the time that we have poured into people that have turned and pushed us away. I could dwell on the hurtful words or the loss of friendship.  I can dwell on all those things or time that have been lost.

Shame on me!

It is just stuff!  Stuff given me by God!  Stuff bought with the money that God has given me!  The time that we have “wasted” is the time that God has given me!

It just doesn’t feel like a loss at all when I think about it not being mine in the first place!  What a relief!

Thank you Lord for all the things that you let me use.  You provide all my needs.