During the summer, there are countless groups involved in missions and ministry. I ran into a youth pastor friend at a gas station coming back from another state with students. Another church I know just got back from a week of ministry with adults and families. Student ministry groups go all over the place in the summer serving in the name of Jesus. Harvest Ministry, the group I’m a part of, also travels all summer serving in the name of Jesus.
I’m reminded of a scripture in Luke 10 where Jesus sends out the 72. He has already sent the 12 out a few verses before, now he sends this delegation. It’s a group of people who follow Jesus but aren’t in the inner circle like the disciples.
Jesus arranges them two by two and gives these three pieces of advice when they arrive in a city and in a home of someone:
1) Offer Peace
2) Take what is given to you
3) Heal people and share the good news of God’s kingdom.
These three things are great for any ministry team. Peace is something people need. You can offer peace with your words, your lives and your attitude. The peace you find in Christ is a witness in itself as you interact with people. Taking what is given is another aspect to hospitality. In fact, being a good recipient of hospitality is almost as important as offering it. Take what is given to you. Jesus goes on to say that a “worker is worth the wage.” Don’t be ashamed to receive from people as you are serving in ministry. At the same time, be grateful for what you do receive. And lastly, heal people – help make life better. Bring hope and help. You are Christ’s hands and feet. Be available to offer the good news of God’s kingdom.
At the end of this ministry trip, the followers return elated that it worked! “Even demons submit in the name of Jesus,” they exclaimed! Jesus joined in their celebration but then gave this one last bit of advice to those going out to serve in ministry… Don’t rejoice that your ministry was effective, rejoice that your names are written in the book of life! (Luke 10:20). What great advice for people in ministry – it’s not what you are doing, it’s who you are that matters. You’re a child of God and your name is written in the book of life – everything else is icing.