The Art of Ministry: Generosity Required

art of ministry generosity required“Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” Mark 4:25, The Message

I don’t often use The Message version of the Bible in my studies, but sometimes I’ll flip over to it just to see how a paraphrase brings a different tone to the passage. I love this one above.

“Giving, not getting, is the way … Stinginess impoverishes.”

I guess in the past I’ve always associated this with monetary, or material things in life. If you have been blessed with “stuff”, be sure to be generous! And that’s all well and good.

But I was thinking about this in the context of ministry. And when you’re in ministry, it’s not always “stuff” that you have to give away–it’s more personal than that. It’s giving of yourself. Your time. Your energy. Your heart.

And that, my friends, costs more than “stuff.”

Stinginess impoverishes. It impoverishes myself, others, the ministry God has called me to. When I horde my resources, when I grasp tightly to MY plans, MY schedule, MY dreams … well, that’s when I am stealing from my own life. Stealing joy, energy, freedom in the Lord, passion for what He’s called me to do. All that is lost when I’m stingy.

When I’m generous with my time, I welcome people into my life, and am welcomed into theirs. When I am generous with my energy, I may be more tired, but I am also blessed with the gift of seeing others energized. When I am generous with my heart–and by that I mean actually take the time to share it with others–I am blessed to hear and better understand theirs. When I’m generous of my time with God, and surrendering my self/life/plans/days/minutes to Him, I’m not impoverished. Not. at. all.

But this all takes giving. Being generous. And that, at least for me, is an art. I’ll give you my money, I’ll give you my stuff. But ask me to change my routine? Sacrifice some dreams? Oh wait–lose out on some sleep?? That stretches my heart. And makes me realize just how stingy I can be.

Another awesome paraphrase from The Message:

“The servant who knows what his master wants and ignores it, or insolently does whatever he pleases, will be thoroughly thrashed. But if he does a poor job through ignorance, he’ll get off with a slap on the hand. Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!” Luke 12:47-48

Now, I’m not tooting my own horn here, saying I have “great gifts”, but I do believe we are all uniquely equipped to carry out a specific job in God’s Kingdom. And when I’m lazy, stingy, withdrawn, and fearful of giving of myself … well, I just might be in danger of being “thoroughly thrashed.”

God, help me to see that the art of ministry, while not complicated, does require me to give generously of myself, surrendering all that I have and all that I am to You.

What causes you to hold back in ministry? In surrendering to God and His call? Please, tell me I’m not the only one!

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About kristinlindeen

I am Kristin. I am Erik's wife. I am Joshua, Rebecca, and Andrew's mom. I am known nationally as the "QBQ! Daughter" and keynote on Personal Accountability and the QBQ. I am certified in Myers Briggs and am passionate about helping people understand themselves and others better. I am John and Karen's daughter. I am sister to many, mentor to some, friend to others. Most defining, I am Christ's daughter, adopted by God--rescued and saved by grace. And almost every single day, I need to be reminded of that truth. Come say "hi" at www.QBQ.com and of course, browse the blog! I'd love to hear from you, so comment away!
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4 Responses to The Art of Ministry: Generosity Required

  1. cakboliv says:

    So, feel free to “remove” comment #1. It didn’t post at first so I rewrote it. Sorry for the duplicity! 🙂

  2. cakboliv says:

    Wonderful post, friend! It is so true. I was just reflecting with someone the other day that there are times when I feel super fragile and it seems those are the times God has asked me to be even more generous with my time. It’s tough! We for some reason feel that we can minister more freely when we think we’ve got it all together…but actually, when we are most vulnerable, God’s grace and mercy flows even more freely! (of course another discussion could be had on the value of learning the skill to say “no” when we truly need to…but as I said, that’s another discussion) I am always amazed at the refreshing reciprocity that happens when we respond with “yes” to God moments and life interruptions that happen in ministry. It’s crazy how despite our own selves God is so able to use us in the lives of others and in turn in our own lives! I’m thankful for the grand adventure of ministry with all the bumps, warts, scrapes and bruises I’ve endured. It’s allowed me the privilege of taking a front seat with others in pain but also in overwhelming transformation and joy. May our Heavenly Father continue to fill us up to be poured out again and again in generous expressions of His joy!

    • Amen! And funny that the whole time I was writing the post, I kept being tempted to put in the caveat of “it’s still important to set healthy boundaries and make sure you’re fueled, and able to say no when necessary” blah blah blah, but I didn’t. Because, you’re exactly right–it’s a separate (though related) discussion. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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