Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The End of Me in Ministry

Not a polished presentation of the gospel.

Not winning a religious debate with someone of another faith.

Not having the perfect house, the perfect kids, the perfect life 
(along with the perfect amount of humility) to win all neighbors to Christ.

Ministry means coming to the end of me.

Recognizing my limitations.

Embracing my weakness and brokenness.

Creating a safe space for others to enter into and be real.

Being attentive, available, and approachable.

Not knowing all the answers but knowing the One who does.


One day about 10 years ago, my friend Karen (not her real name) quietly knocked on my apartment door. To be honest, I had been dreading her visit since she had called the night before to tell me that she had just discovered her husband was having an affair.

I had no idea what to say or do as I opened the door and embraced her. My dear friend, dressed in all black, mourning her shattered marriage.

We sat together in our living room and shed tears as she unveiled more of the deep pain of betrayal she had been through.

As I listened to her, I became aware of our 1 Corinthians 13 scroll in Chinese characters on the wall behind her. So I got out my Bible, opened it to that passage, and handed it to her to read on her own.

After a few moments she looked up at me with shining eyes and exclaimed, “I know what I need to do.” I held my breath as I heard her answer. “Love him."

"I can let God love him through me."

And with those words her life was transformed. A spark of restoration in her broken marriage...in the coming days, her husband, greatly impacted by her forgiveness expressed a willingness to change. Their marriage grew stronger. And, by God's grace, is still strong to this day.

God's power made perfect in weakness. The impossible made possible. Hope for the hopeless. Beauty from ashes.

Clearly not because of any advice or wisdom from me. Because I had none.

I just provided the space.

God's power.

Through His Word.

Through His Spirit.

Through the weak.

His Ministry. Not mine.

Now to him who is able to immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness." (Psalm 115:1)


Linking up with Velvet Ashes this week on the theme of Power.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Ruth :)

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  2. I resonate deeply with the principles of ministry you are sharing here, Jodie. Thanks so much for linking up with Velvet Ashes!

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    1. Thank you, Patty. Your post on the power of authenticity in community really impacted me.

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  3. "Being attentive, available, and approachable." I had a friend, a good friend that I love dearly, who always seemed to be doing something else while I was talking to her. My mother is the same way! And, I struggle with this, too! Just being present, truly present, and giving someone our FULL attention can be so powerful. Thank you for that reminder! I'm gonna ask for God's help to work on that today.

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    1. Hadassah, I'm so glad to know those words resonated with you. I had the experience recently of someone listening so intently to my story, I found myself opening up more and thinking about what a good listener she was. Fully present. I want to be less distracted, especially when listening to my children. And I pray God would help you grow in this area as well.

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