The Mystery of Ministry Work
Written by Amateo Seno
Jesus said the harvest is great, but the workers are few (Luke 10:3). He also said that one will sow and another reap (John 4:37). Such is the mystery of ministry work. We are called to serve, but how do we know if we are serving well? After discerning our call through prayer, opening ourselves to be guided by Spirit, performing our due diligence with gifts God has graced us with, how do we know we are succeeding when even Jesus tells us we may not be one’s to reap what we have sown?
It is understandable to want to succeed in where we apply ourselves, this is the message we get from the popular culture on how get ahead in our economy, but economics of God runs contrary to this: We see this in the Parable of the Workers (Mt. 20: 1-16) where those hired in the last hour of day are paid just the same as those who worked the full day. Why should those who worked less be rewarded as those who worked more, unless it is not the measure of work accomplished but by the faith it is exercised that concerns God. It is only when we understand the importance of faith can we begin to the understands the wisdom of Mother Teresa, “We are called upon not to be successful, but faithful.”
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Our work in ministry is an exercise of our faith, acting on the Hope we receive from Jesus Christ, because faith without work is dead (James 2:26). Although it is nice to receive consolation for the good works we do, don’t count on it. They are gifts from God, but as every saint knows, we will experience desolation as well, where our faith will be tried, as we struggle to find God’s presence in the dark night where our frustrations make all our labors seem in vain. Yet we are told that we do not labor in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58) regardless of the result. In the end, we need the faith to trust in God and surrender it all to His care. It is only then will we realize the truth in Jesus’ words, “My yoke is easy, burden is light” Mt. 11:30.