A few days ago I asked the question “What is a minister.” Here are some of Brenda’s thoughts which have come in the middle of our conversation at the Vicarage.
So what is a minister?
…It is interesting that word…”Minister”…to minister…the verb is to take care of the needs of another. You can minister as a health professional, as a pastor, a teacher, as a musician. The list goes on. Everyone can do this.
In fact in some form I believe everyone SHOULD DO THIS…. But being called a minister, or being CALLED to be a minister, that is a bit different.
Ministers do in daily life take care of life needs just like everyone else (groceries, help with bills, babysitting, holiday gifts and baskets etc). The other half is spent encouraging people helping them to become who God intends them to be. We each have our specific way of doing this. My mom was a minister to people as a nurse. Nursing them back to health, and we her children and her Grandchildren are ministers to peoples souls and spirits. I use art, singing, theater to do my work, and other ministers use their specific gifts to do their work.. I guess that is the beauty of it. There is no one way to be a minister or to do ministry.
God has gifted each one of in our own way, so that we can do what He would have us do, in our own special way. So to me…being a minister is being the best artist, director, teacher, actor, designer, singer I can possibly be, using those gifts to draw others toward the God of all creation who loves them and wants to know them better and wants them to know him better.
The gauntlet began yesterday for Brenda. She preached at Living Word Assembly of God in Worcester MA. Her original plan was to preach, have lunch and then hit the road to get as far South as she could by 8 P.M. She was heading to the Appalachian District Council in West Virginia.
When she got to Worcester though she realized she had forgotten an essential bag of supplies for the council. So after lunch she traveled the hour back to the Vicarage for the bag.
She finally hit the road about 4:30 P.M. last night and made it as far as Bethlehem PA before stopping for the night.
She got a fresh start this morning and was to her venue sometime around 5 P.M. She has a suite!
It looks like a nice place to rest her head for the next few days. Be praying that she is able to make some connections with new supporters for the ministry.
If you would like to help Brenda with the building The Bridge Artist’s Ministry you can contact her at gonetherlandsag.com
What is a minister?
I am probably the least qualified of the 3 of us to answer this question as I am still learning exactly what it means to be a minister, but Daddy asked for my answer so I’ll take a stab at it.
A minister is someone whose lifestyle shows God and instills in those around them the need to get closer to God and do what God has called them to do.
What does that mean? It means that we are always looking for opportunities to help encourage people in what God has called them to do.
Dad does this thing that drives me nuts because I think it is absolutely bizarre, but as I’ve looked into the motive behind it I understand it more. He always asks people “What is God telling you today?”
I hate when he asks me this question because God does not talk to me like he talks to Dad so I always feel like I’m going to answer this question wrong. However, since I’ve started working at the church and with Dad I understand more the motive behind this question. He is not doing it to make interesting conversation. He is doing it so I can see what God is calling me to so that I can do it. Without him asking me that question, I may sit on what God is telling me for days, weeks, or months.
This is one of Dad’s way of ministering to me and others.
I’m still working out “My thing” as it were but this is what I feel we are as ministers are called to do.
Everyone who is in the workforce at the Vicarage is currently a full time minister of the Gospel. Mom is a retired RN who worked in just about every field of nursing over her 50 odd years of work. She has earned her break.
J is an associate pastor at Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA. His focus is worship and the arts and anything else that happens to come his way.
Amanda is the full time children’s pastor at Cornerstone. Her administrative portfolio is massive placing her over children’s church, wee worship and nursery as well as the midweek scouting programs and staffing children’s ministries for all special events. Her missions focus is BGMC and she is in charge of children’s outreach.
Brenda is a missionary to The Netherlands. Her focus is evangelistic drama and ministry to and by artists. She is currently overseeing Stagelife Theater Netherlands and is an active member in the Fire choir a touring gospel choir in the Netherlands. She is currently in the U.S. on a fund raising and awareness tour that is taking her all over the Eastern seaboard and potentially beyond. When she returns to The Netherlands she will be launching The Bridge a ministry specifically devoted to ministering to artists.
What I have just described to you is our work. But being a minister is not about the work we do. It is about the call to a lifestyle. It is about a call from God to activate the church. The work of ministry is only a very small part of being a minister. That is to say a person can work full time at a church even doing ministry work and not be a minister.
SO WHAT IS A MINISTER?
Over the course of the next several days we will begin to discuss just that.
This is a trailer for Brenda’s current show playing in The Netherlands. Her team is travelling and ministering while Brenda is here in The U.S. raising her personal support for the mission and capital for the next part of the project which is the Bridge Artists Ministry.
If you would like more information about booking Brenda at your church or information about how to support the ministry you can find it by clicking here at GONETHERLANDSAG.COM
Amanda and I had a really good on line discussion about being all in. Here are some thoughts from that discussion.
One of the things God has been telling us as a leadership team is that we need to stop taking a census of what we have in our own strength. Taking a census causes us to become self-reliant rather than God reliant (this is an allusion to the story of David in 1 Chron. 21). God has also been telling us as a church that we need to be “All In”
One of our biggest temptations is to allow little distractions inside the church to distract us from our “All In” call.
As leaders we need to stop being so concerned about those things which distract us. In some ways focusing on the little distractions, the things which “bug” us, is just another form of census taking.
We need to stop focusing on distractions. As leaders, we need to take a stand against what is distracting the congregation and help them gain the same mind of pushing past those distractions.
When we allow ourselves to be distracted by things that have no eternal value simply because they are not to our liking, we allow the enemy a foot hold to steal our ability to be “All In”. In that moment we step out of answering the call of God.
As I was driving to work the other day. I took a turn down Grove Street. After passing my old high school (now an elementary school) and upon coming to the outlet of Grove Street onto School St. I noticed that renovations had begun on the old Ready house. Mr. Ready was the postmaster in town when I was a kid. His wife’s name was Ruth. They were some of our first customers on a paper route my sister and I shared when Brenda was just nine and I was eleven.
The reminiscence brought me to a realization. The ministers of the Vicarage are in a situation that is almost unique. We are ministering this year together in the town we were born in. I have made my career as a minister in the town I was born in. My daughter, Amanda is the fifth generation of our family who has lived in this tiny little town in North Central Massachusetts just on the New Hampshire border. One of our great-great uncles was on the team that built Clyde the Rocking Horse, the symbol of Winchendon (AKA Toy Town). My grandfather was on the board of selectmen. My Dad helped write the modern town charter. These are our people. We are ministering and fighting the spiritual battle for our ancestral home.
As I thought about these things an overwhelming sense of destiny came over me. The Vicarage is not unique just because three ministers live there in a very complicated intergenerational situation further confused by three dogs and a flerkin. The most amazing thing about our situation is that this year feels like it is being breathed upon by the breath of God. The scent of destiny if in the air. The world suddenly feels pregnant with purpose beyond our mortal intentions and as I write that I don’t fully understand what that means.
I am flabbergasted as I question why God has chosen us. I am honored beyond measure and I pray that at the Day of Reckoning we will be found worthy of the calling with which we were called, whatever that turns out to be.
Have you ever felt chosen by God for something? Have you ever felt you were in the midst of some divine plan?
Well as predicted, the blogs last week about being “All In” elicited some really interesting conversations.
J. Says: I guess the idea of being “All In” can be taken in two ways. Number one it can be taken as applying to me being “All In.” That is fully dedicated or committed to a particular cause. It can also apply to everyone else around me in regards to who I accept or receive into my life. It can refer to my level of openness and my heart of love for people that I allow “All In”, if you see what I mean.
The way I understand being “All In” is in the first way. When I am “All In” to something it means I am fully committed to pouring all my heart, soul, mind, strength, talents ability and love into the thing I am “All In” towards (this is a definition spoken to me by Meg Kelly at the Cornerstone Cafe last Sunday). That right there is the definition of holiness or sanctification.
Now when I am truly “All In” with Jesus, that causes me to open my heart to others. I cannot love Jesus and hate others, period! Any level of hatred or dislike towards others in my heart indicates that I have an area of disloyalty in my heart towards Jesus who is desperately in love with all mankind. My love for others actually shows how “All In” I am with Jesus.