The ministry is not confined to those who are working in the field of teaching, but it is rather required from everybody and useful to everybody. It is considered a general spiritual means and a spiritual principle required from every believer, whether adult or young, married or unmarried. Suffice to remember the words of the Scripture, does not do it, to him it is sin.” (Jas 4: 17)
Sins are not the mere passive things which a person does, but merely not doing good is sin. Therefore does good continually, being in the image of God who always does good. The Lord Christ likewise used to go about doing good (Acts ). Do you do the same?
The fields of ministry are varied, such as social ministry, spiritual ministry … etc. About the ministry, for instance, the Scripture says: “He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins;” Jas 5: 20) and also, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” It is then a ministry related to the salvation of the souls; a glorious ministry indeed!! For the Scripture says, “… receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of the souls” (1 Pet 1: 9)
The social ministry is likewise so sublime that the Lord made it a measure for judgment on the Last Day, for He says to those on His right, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Mt 25: 35- 40) Then the Lord explains, saying, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” We also read that, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (Jas 1: 27)
Since there are many fields of ministry, every person can serve according to the grace given him.
No one can ever say that God hasn##t given him any capabilities for the ministry. Everybody can do something, and whoever has the spirit of ministry will serve everywhere: at home, in the work, at the place of study, in the church, on the way, in the club … etc. and will serve whoever comes in his way!
The ministry in its essence is but an expression of the love stored in the heart to God and people.
Every believer is supposed to love God from all the heart, the mind, and the soul. It is a commandment of the Old Testament (Deut 6: 5), which is repeated in the New Testament in (Mt – 39). Love is not a mere oral word, but as the Scripture says, “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 Jn 3: 18) Practical love is revealed through the ministry, for if you love God you will express your love to Him by spreading His Kingdom, by serving the church, by preaching the word. If you love the others you will serve them by all the possible means which are of benefit to them.
A spiritual person does not live for himself only.
The saying goes that whoever lives for himself only does not deserve to live. Therefore, in the ministry you should go outside yourself and meet with the others, from the sphere of the ego and to give the others of your love. You should be aware that it is your mission in life to do good towards whoever God puts in your way. And the more you acquire experience in life and broad heartedness, the more your ministry will extend to go beyond your family and household to your relatives and neighbors, your acquaintances, your colleagues and friends and even farther.
We have seen some types of ministry that covers the whole community and extends beyond it to the whole world.
This applies to some international organizations like the Red Cross, the Humanitarian Aid Associations, the Relief Bodies, and the like. These extend their assistance to whoever needs it in countries exposed to natural disasters like floods, war disasters, or famine. They send their aid to far away countries which they perhaps had not any idea about or any relationship with. It their human feelings and love towards everybody that urges them to hasten and aid those in need.
So, if such secular organizations who have no relationship with the church do this, how much rather should we!!
You are required to do something for your brother in humanity, for the Lord gave us the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk – 37) who while on his way helped a person whose people are in enmity with his own people! It is the love that makes no difference between people.
Let not anyone say he is not called for the ministry!! You are called to love everybody and to express your love through the ministry. It is true, however, that the ministry of teaching needs that the minister be sent by the church (Rom ), because not everybody is fit for preaching and teaching.
Ask yourself then what the share of the others is in your life.
Consecration needs calling, but general ministry needs only love and the heart longing to serve others. This is itself a heart calling!
I remember that once a surgeon asked me what he can do for the others; and I answered him that he could at least perform at least ten surgeries to the poor and needy, because this meant that he gives God a share in his knowledge and in his work, and at the same time expresses his love to the poor by giving away part of his wages.
It is important for everybody to have the element of giving in his life.
In this way the ministry will have provided you with spiritual virtues, that is, love and giving, and sacrificing, and you will have benefited from your ministry. While serving the poor you may find the poverty or need has caused some of them to lie or cheat to obtain what they actually need. Do not get bored of such people, nor lose hope or be annoyed. Do not react roughly or treat them badly, for God may have permitted it that you meet with such a type of people that you may benefit spiritually and they get rid of such bad habits.
The ministry strengthens the spirituality of the minister, and the spirituality of the minister strengthens the ministry, for in the ministry one gives and receives. That is why we consider the ministry among the spiritual means if one practices it properly. As far as one gives love from the heart, one##s heart will be satisfied with love. No doubt a person who serves the orphans, the sick, the disabled, or the poor and needy in general, will enjoy deep feelings that can lift him above the world and its temporal emotions. The emotions which a person experiences when meeting with cases of suffering and pain are much stronger than emotions experiences in places of entertainment and luxury. Therefore you actually receive from your ministry much more that you give. The mere feeling that you have caused someone to be happy or have solved a certain problem, this will pour over your heart deep emotions.
There are other fields of ministry than teaching.
I had a colleague in the Sunday Schools## ministry, 45 years ago, who had no class to teach, for his ministry was visitation and solving problems of the others before they become complicated, or even when they have become complicated. He found great happiness in that ministry and was aware of God##s hand in solving whatever problems he was entrusted with. He used to tell us in a very pleasant and spiritual way about God##s work in solving those problems.
The spiritual experiences acquired through the ministry are among the benefits gained from the ministry.
It is a great honor to you to work with God, as
The ministry also benefits you as a school for prayer.
The more you serve, the more you will feel that there are matters that need the divine help, so you train yourself on prayer. You will also pray that God may bless the whole work and interfere in it and not leave you alone. You will pray that your ministry may be spiritual and not mere activity or routine or mere social work. You will often pray with those whom you serve or hold prayer gatherings, and in all this you will be trained on prayer.
The ministry, in general, brings a person into a spiritual atmosphere, which is undoubtedly useful, because a person will find himself in a spiritual surrounding with spiritual persons and complying to spiritual principles and values. A person also may find himself under an obligation to have a private spiritual life so as to be an example to those whom he serves, or at least not to be a stumbling block to them.
A person will then repeat to himself the words of the Scripture: “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (Jn 17: 19) The Lord Christ meant with these words something different than what you mean with them. You say them wishing that your life may be holy through the ministry, and that you may be an example in every good work to those whom you serve. You also may ask in your prayer that God may grant you the ability to be always attached to Him for their sake, and also for your own sake that God may take care of you and them, and may preserve you and them. You may ask Him that you be a good bridge that would bring them to Him, or that you may bear them in your heart before Him.
In this way the ministry will have established a relationship between you and God, which relationship has also become necessary for the ministry, and the ministry itself has become necessary to keep you attached to God. Therefore the majority of those who left the ministry have become tepid and lost the fervency which they had before while in the ministry. They lost the continual prayers, the depth, and the commitment, and they lost that holy zeal which they had before. Even the social virtues which accompanied the ministry are lost. The ministry also gives big chances to read the Holy Bible and acquire spiritual knowledge in general, including contemplations and commentary, especially to those whose ministry is spiritual ministry or teaching. So, the ministry has its benefits in developing the spiritual knowledge and perhaps the religious knowledge with all its branches.
Such knowledge comes from various sources including reading, whether reading the Holy Scripture, the biographies of the saints, or the spiritual books, as well as attending religious meetings related to the ministry and listening to chapters of the Bible and to sermons in the Holy Mass. Such knowledge will lead a person to practical spiritual exercises, but if he leaves the ministry he will leave all this, and may acquire other types of knowledge. Through the spiritual knowledge a person may know more about the troubles of the people, many details about the human soul with its emotions, the diabolic wars and wiles, and also the practical solutions for all this. And if his ministry is concerned with the internal and external problems facing people, and in case he has no experience in this he will at least see how the spiritual guides or fathers deal with such problems and solve them. His experience will then increase.
The ministry of some people is not mentioned in detail in the Scripture, for they either served the ministers or provided for the ministry. For instance many women followed the Lord Christ and provided for Him from their substance (Lk 8: 3). Also in the early church Mary the mother of Mark the Apostle offered her house to be the first church where the believers gathered and prayed. And