Tuesday, August 5, 2008

An Important Week - Ministry

I had a very important week last week. There were a few big milestones in my walk with Christ that I wanted to share. (I'm breaking it up in parts, it was getting too long!)


Ministry

First off, June 26th was Serve Day. If you're unfamiliar, Serve Day is one day out of the year that is meant to be a catalyst; to inspire and connect people with opportunities to dig in and get involved in the communities around them.

There are tons of things to choose from, ranging from beach clean-ups to serving food to the homeless. I read almost every opportunity on the list, and after much internal deliberation about if I was choosing for God's needs or choosing for my own comfort and desires, I picked a project connected with Walking on Water ministry, and did ministry (meaning walking around and talking to people, making connections, inviting them to a screening of a Christian surf movie, and passing out free dvds) at the US Surf Open in Huntington Beach.

Before, during, and even after, though exhausted, I was feeling guilty. I had reasoned with myself that God blesses us with different talents and we should use them to further His kingdom... so I figured I'm great at making conversation and connecting with people, and I'm outgoing, so that's the project I'm best suited for. But I felt like I had too much fun.

In hindsight, I think no matter what project people chose, they got tons of joy out of it after all. But I was doubting my reasons for choosing that opportunity, and feeling like I must have picked it because it was spending the day at the beach and it seemed easy. It was truly exhausting (being in the sun for 9 straight hours and approaching hundreds of people with the same friendliness and enthusiasm the whole time takes a lot out of you) but I prayed that Christ would soften the hearts of the people I connected with and that the materials we handed out would plant the seed in their lives. I was rejected by quite a few people, some even laughing and throwing away what I gave them in my plain view, but for every person that rejected me, there were 10 who seemed genuinely intrigued and open. I really did feel the Holy Spirit was assisting me in connecting with the people I talked to though.

A few days later, I was talking to my best friend, who said he hadn't wanted to tell me ahead of time because he didn't want to scare me, but he was really impressed and inspired by the fact that I picked the hardest opportunity on the list. Like I said, I had been feeling very much the opposite, but he told me that doing ministry that is talking directly to and connecting with non-believers is just about the hardest thing one can do. He said especially since I'm new in my faith, it was a huge step for me. It made me feel a lot more at peace with the situation.

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