[wp_eStore_cart_when_not_empty]God is a God of order
and just like everything else in life, ministry (or work or career or whatever outside-the-home occupation we're talking about) must be placed in it's rightful spot in God's order.
It is only when these first three people priorities are taken care of that I can legitimately consider a meaningful outside-the-home ministry (or career or whatever you wish to call it).
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:1-5)
How do I know? How do I keep ministry in check? Here are some questions I ask:
- My Priorities – Has ministry displaced any of the other priorities? Is ministry taking time away from or coming before any of my other priorities? Am I still being devoted to God? Does my husband know he is still most important to me in spite of this ministry? Do my children believe I love “doing ministry” or spending time with them more? Is my household under control or are things slipping in the name of ministry?
- My Motives – Did God ordain/command/design this ministry, or did I? Did I seek and obtain God's approval and my husband's for this ministry? Or did I accept it without consulting or in spite of those two loving individuals whose job it is to protect me.
- My Service – Am I doing ministry to please God, or to please people? What is my motive? Is is I Corinthians 10:31 “Do ALL to the glory of God”? or is it Katie 101 “This makes me look good, I think I will”? Did I feel forced into this and am complying to make another person happy? Or am I serving as to the Lord? Whose praise do I seek in this ministry opportunity?
- My Joy – Am I instilling in my children a love for service? Do I joyfully do this ministry or is it a drudgery? What message does my joy in service (or lack thereof) communicate to my children about serving God? Do I include my children in ministry, teaching them how to do things, training them in the art of serving others?
Every known sin has at its root the sin of pride. I must continually evaluate my other priorities, my motives, my service and my joy in ministry. I am not as effective nor will my ministry be all it can be when it falls outside the order of priorities that God has established. I must be humble enough to admit pride when necessary, seek forgiveness when necessary, say “no” to ministry opportunities when necessary, and re-order my life to God's design if he is to truly be glorified through me.
How do you keep your ministry priorities in order? I'd love it if you'd share your comments.
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