What works better – serving God our way, or His way? Is there any difference?
We all assume that serving God is simple – that all we need to do is find something we want to do in the church, jump in and get involved! Well, it is not as easy as that. Over the years I have seen so many people get involved in God’s work only to feel disappointed, unfulfilled and drained afterwards.
But wait – why would you get drained after working for the Lord? Isn’t every job that you do for the Lord going to give you satisfaction? Well, if you do things for the Lord the wrong way, every task you do will feel like climbing a mountain that does not seem to have a peak!
Let me share below a few tips on how to serve God his way!
1. Let God send you
Now – just because your church needs laborers does not mean that you jump into the first ministry that appeals to you. Ministry can get quite complicated, especially if God does not send you there.
Some years ago, when I was still in music ministry, a few of us were asked to be part of a band for a children’s vacation program. We were happy to be part of this, of course, but unfortunately, the person to whom we were supposed to report to was not very good at handling people. He had a knack of rubbing people the wrong way – the children, the workers, the band, the volunteers, etc. By the time the program was over, most of us had no intention of signing up for the following year’s program! The whole experience left a bitter taste in everybody’s mouth.
Here was someone who was ready and willing to work for the Lord, but he was wrongly placed. He had probably not taken time to ask God exactly where his best place of ministry was meant to be. My first tip is, therefore, find out what God wants you to do, and let Him send you. Don’t send yourself, otherwise you will have a really difficult time. Remember that we all have different gifts, and your gift has a place in the body of Christ. Just ask God how and where he wants you to use this gift.
1 Peter 4:10 “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (NLT)
2. Let God be your focus
Colossians 3:23-24 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” (NLT)
Let’s face it – everyone wants to be ‘seen’ to be serving the Lord, i.e. everyone wants some form of recognition once they join church ministry. Serving in church, especially in the more public ministries like leading worship, ushering and singing in the choir will most certainly get you noticed! When all the attention fades away, however, and you are no longer able to participate in that ministry, what happens next?
This is the question I asked myself when I left music ministry. No more appreciative glances, no more compliments, no more people asking me to make sure I was on keyboard duty when they were leading worship. I disappeared from the public eye.
I was okay with the situation for a while, but at the back of my mind, there was that niggling feeling that I needed to be doing something for the Lord. I asked the Lord for direction, and all he said was, “Wait and see.” I waited, prayed, raised my children, went to work, etc, but there were still no signs pointing me towards ministry. I was however sure that God wanted me to take a different direction from what I was used to.
Then one day, in the midst of an illness, I was crying out to God for healing, and he led me to start this blog. Not quite the direction I thought he would lead me, but I obeyed anyway. One thing led to another, and The Relationship Mirror was born. This blog is now one of my tools for ministry.
Where does focusing on God come into my story? Well, sitting at a laptop and typing out inspirational articles every week is not exactly glamorous. My focus on the Lord, however, keeps me going, because I know that what I am doing is for his glory. My second tip is, therefore, to keep your eyes fixed on the one who has called you and what he wants you to do. That’s all that matters.
3. Let God equip you
Many of us believe that since we have the skills and expertise required to serve in a particular ministry, we will most certainly succeed at it. This may be true to an extent, because to serve in a ministry like counselling, for example, one must have counselling experience and qualifications. True success in any ministry, however, depends entirely on God.
Whenever God sends us out, he equips us for the task. If we need wisdom, for example, he provides it in abundance. If we need strength, he provides that too. If we need resources, he gives them to us. God makes sure that when we obey his call, he gives us everything that we need to carry out the task he has given us to do.
So, what happens when we decide to move forward into ministry in our own strength? First, we may find that we are struggling and being at peace while serving God. secondly, we may feel unsettled and unfulfilled. Third, we often feel like God is not walking with us, yet we are so busy doing his work.
The simple and easy solution to all the above is this – ask God where he wants you to serve him, and let him prepare, equip and enable you for the task! Just like any good employer would take an employee through training so that they are able to cope with the demands of the job, God will train you for the job he wants you to do. All he needs is for you to be willing to be moulded into a willing vessel ready for his use! That, dear friends, is my third tip!
Serving the Lord is a delightful experience if done right. It’s my prayer that each one of us will take time to ask God to prepare us for service, show us where he wants us to serve him, and equip us for the task. Service to the Lord must be done His way, not ours.