I have never been the kind of person that loved to work out. The idea of getting up at 6:00 a.m. and running or heading to the gym makes me so sad. It is just not how I am wired. But we live one minute away from the Crown Point YMCA. When we moved here in October, we signed the kids up for classes there and my wife and I were hitting our goal of working out three times a week. We got into a good rhythm of life and were getting in shape. Well, the last six months or so, I will confess only my failure: I have not worked out since March. I know the gym is open. I know I could have been jogging every day, but I broke that rhythm. I got out of practice. How do I get back to the gym? Well, I have to plan it. Put it in my calendar and make it a priority. And next week or so I’ll try that!
There are other aspects of our lives that were thrown off by COVID-19 and I have seen that serving one another has taken a huge hit. We have been out of the practice of hosting small groups at our house and it has been months since we taught our Awana kids Bible stories. Even though the church was dispersed for a short time, it is now up and running. Ministries are kicking off again and excited to fulfill our calling and make disciples, but we need the body of Christ to return as well. We need our brothers and sisters to reengage in the spiritual battles of discipleship.
Here are four things to help you reengage in ministry.
- Remember your calling. The greatest commandment Jesus says is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27 ESV). As we grow in the love of our Father and Savior, we will love the things he loves, find pleasure in the things that he does. Now, the second greatest commandment is to “love our neighbor” (Luke 10:27). Our calling is to love others and to be the hands and feet of Christ sharing the gospel with them (1 Corinthians 12:20, 27). We cannot forget Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Remember your giftings. We know that God has given us gifts and talents, all of which are for bringing him glory and building up the church. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Before COVID-19, you had gifts that God gave you to build up his church, share the gospel, or care for the needy and he has NOT removed those gifts from you. The question is, how are you using them now?
- Remember your power. Whether you need to re-engage in serving or want to do it for the first time, we need to remember this is not us using our self-made abilities to bring about salvation and sanctification. No. We are using our God-given gifts by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 8). Remember, we are working with the hearts and souls of students and adults. We are not looking for behavior change but heart change, and only God can change the heart. The Holy Spirit has the power to make our words and actions meaningful and powerful. He (Holy Spirit) gives us boldness to share the gospel seed but also reap the harvest of salvation.
- Remember your joy. When I tell my boys they’ve done well, their faces beam with joy. When I obey my heavenly Father, he is pleased with me. When I am his obedient child he blesses me, rewards me, on this side of heaven or the other. Psalm 128:1 says, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” Find joy again in serving our God and serving his people. Obey his calling and enjoy his blessing.