I’m doing another Five Minute Friday free write today, and our prompt is the word share. Here we go!
Growing up in church I got the idea that “ministry” was a specific category of activities such as verbally sharing the Gospel or leading a Bible study. In college I began to volunteer with a parachurch youth ministry whose guiding Scripture was 1 Thessalonians 2:8, which says, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
I was entrusted with a group of several middle school girls with which to do Bible study, but I was also encouraged to “do life” with them. Over the course of several years God gave me a deep love for these sweet and energetic girls as I taught them the Word and prayed for them but also participated in sleepovers and picnics, tennis matches and choir concerts.
Meanwhile the parents of these girls either consciously or subconsciously adopted this same philosophy of relational ministry with me. They told me about what God had done in their lives—not through any kind of formal discipleship program but rather on walks, over coffee, and on their porch swings. I will be forever changed by the powerful ministry that occurred through my relationships with both the girls and their parents.
Imagine my sheepish surprise when I realized that this “new” way of doing ministry is exactly what Jesus did on earth! He preached and performed miracles, of course, but He also gathered a small group of friends around Him—the disciples—and He lived life with them. They ate, fished, and traveled together. Judging by the way the disciples later radically devoted their entire lives to spreading the Gospel even while experiencing persecution, I’d say His ministry method was successful, and I believe this type of relational ministry packs a similar punch today.
Want to do “ministry?” Share the Gospel, and share your life.
Has anyone "shared the Gospel" with you by sharing their life with you? I'd love to hear about it!