Ministry to the homeless can be hard.
There’s always the struggle of wondering if the people you are ministering to are really homeless or not, and the questions about whether or not it actually helps to do what you’re doing.
What I find most difficult though is when someone you are regularly ministering to disappears and you don’t know what has happened to them.
Sometimes they’ve gone to jail, sometimes they’ve found a job, sometimes they’ve moved into a shared apartment with someone, sometimes they’ve just decided to move to another part of town and some times they might even have died.
The not knowing can be very hard. You put prayer and love into people and then they just disappear.
Jesus never said ministry would be easy though and all forms of ministry are hard in their own ways. Don’t let that hold you back though, we don’t minister because it’s easy, we minister because it is right.
@marketermikee reminded me of something through twitter today:
“Anyone can raise their hands, but a worshiper gives” – Perry Noble
Worship in any form is not, or SHOULD not be about what we can receive but what we can give.
Many of us make the mistake when we go to a worship service of wondering what we will get out of it, hoping that we will get something from it – and then going away disillusioned and disappointed with God because we didn’t ‘receive’ what we wanted from our worship.
We need to readjust our thinking to be able to truly go and give our worship to God, unconditionally, just because he’s worth it.
That attitude will help us in all of our ministry because then, as we see worship as giving, not receiving, then worshiping by giving of our time, our finances, our abilities and our resources becomes much easier.
We worshiped God yesterday by helping to dig trenches for a sprinkler system for a church in the ghetto. We didn’t expect to RECEIVE anything, because it was an act of worship. We didn’t need praise or recognition or payment or anything in return, we were content to simply give.
We don’t always do as well with our attitude but we’re learning and growing all the time.
Are you content to give, or do you always want to get something in return?
8 Reply to “Sunday Thoughts – 18 October 2009”
It really is better to give than to receive… but sometimes we forget. Thanks for the reminder, Peter.
you've been doing some serious thinking here!
i'm gonna plead the 5th on the last question.
You should talk to Jeff (my pastor) about his experiences with the homeless ministry. It can be incredibly frustrating and exhausting.
Perhaps more than anywhere else, ministry to the disadvantaged requires discernment. With the Holy Spirit's leading, we are able to know when, how, and to whom we should give. (Even Jesus didn't say 'yes' to everyone.)
I do agree that we need to give without expectation of receiving. I've thought I was doing that, and then later realized that even the expectation of gratitude is an expectation to receive something in return. I'm learning that I need to give, as you've so wisely said, Peter, in worship and service of God. Then, even gratitude need go only to Him.
The answer to your question is a little bit of both. 🙂 I think I truly start just wanting to serve (CCD teacher), but then get a little tired and cranky and am like "Gee, it would be nice if someone appreciated…"
I was blessed though, to have had a student write me a beautiful note (in crayon) a few years ago about how much she has learned and loves Jesus more than ever! I look at that note every once in a while when I feel like that.