Hey, my name is Megan Fate Marshman. I run a young adults ministry in Long Beach, California, and today I get to talk about a community of ministry support because I, probably like you, have done ministry alone.
I’ve been surrounded by lots of people in my ministry and felt completely isolated.
If you’re anything like me, a community of ministry support sounds really great, but how do you practically do it? What does that practically look like?
An Important Question to Ask
I remember I was leading a conversation about family ministry and a cool guy with an Australian accent, which is what makes him cool, walks up to me and is like, “So I have a question.”
I was like, “What?”
And then he asks one of those questions—a question that made me wonder if he was just asking the question because he had the right answer and wanted to catch me out.
Anyways, his question was: “Is our job to do ministry to families, with families, or through families?”
I was thinking he probably had a profound answer and went with, “I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me?”
To which he responded, “I don’t know either.” And then he disappeared. I don’t know where he went—I’ve never seen him again. But I’ve thought about it ever since.
Do Ministry WITH People, Not Just TO People
Often, we in leadership find ourselves needing to do ministry to people. And that is extremely isolating because when you find yourself at the top, you are there by yourself.
If you’re only doing ministry to families, or to students, or to your volunteers, you’ll miss out on the partnership of what it looks like to do ministry together. I believe that his question was profound.
You don’t just do ministry to people. You do ministry with them. And then ultimately through them, in places you could never reach but they can because of their unique situations, their unique jobs, their unique neighbors, and all of that.
Don’t Do Ministry Alone
As you’re going about doing ministry, the one thing that I’ve learned that I’ve actually applied in ministry is don’t do it alone.
It’s tempting to think that the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you must minister to everyone.
Give your ministry away. You’ll find yourselves doing ministry alongside people and inevitably doing ministry through those people in places that you would never reach on your own.