Everyday Laboring Tips | Church and Ministry Family
Kingdom laboring doesn’t have to be laborious. More than anything, Kingdom laboring is loving others out of the up-close love relationship you have with God. It doesn’t require a theological degree, insist on a minimum age, or demand a certain level of spiritual maturity. Kingdom laboring is a simple call to intentionally and genuinely love others—wherever you are, whoever you’re with, with whatever measure of God’s love you have to offer in the moment.
Below are 6 ways to love your church and ministry family in Kingdom-Laboring ways. In time, you might be amazed to see just how much God’s Kingdom grows in and around you seemingly “all by itself” (Mark 4:28) as you authentically and intentionally love others.
Here are 6 ways to authentically love your church and ministry family with intentionality.
- Steward Your Time
I’ve heard it said that one of our greatest resources is our time. While we can work towards earning more money, developing skills, or accomplishing tasks, we cannot gain more time. Therefore our time—and where we spend it—communicates what we value most. What better way is there in the community where we’re serving, than to give readily, generously, and joyously of our time? And yet, this is not an easy ask. Our daily schedules are filled to the brim with “to dos” and obligations, family and friends. Start with a simple first step, and find a big, or SMALL, way to get involved. Remember that small gestures that are actually acted upon are better than big gestures that never come to fruition. Volunteer to lead a small group, help with the kids in your church, devote 10 minutes a day to call/text/send a word of encouragement to someone in your church family. Pause and ask God for some ideas to steward your time in a way that allows you to more intentionally engage with your church family, while not sacrificing your personal time with Him. In a Christian culture of burnout and overwork, we have to be careful that the church’s place in our lives doesn’t overshadow God’s. Striking the balance is a beautiful thing because time made available to God and for His Church, no matter how large or small will, no doubt, be put to Kingdom use!
- Be a Link in the Chain
Our culture speaks a lot about being our own bosses, not ‘settling’ for a lower position when we could be the ones in charge. However, scripture reminds us that we ultimately report to God. As believers, we follow in the model Jesus exemplified for us—a servant. While no role is unimportant, we are a support to the One who oversees it all. Laboring for the Kingdom can look like doing a lot of unseen, menial tasks that serve those around us. Maybe we can pick up the trash after the service, set up sound equipment for the band, even clean the toilets if needed. There is great purpose in playing a small part in God’s daily plan.
- Enter into the Space as YOU
Our Founder Dwight Robertson often shares with students going through Forge Equipping Programs about finding their own YOUnique ministry. The Lord has gifted you uniquely, and it’s worth asking where your wiring will best serve your community. Are you gifted at communicating or caring for kids? Volunteer in children’s ministry! Handy and resourceful? Offer to keep up the church grounds. Do you have a heart to help your church thrive? Start or join a prayer team. Where does your church have a need that you can uniquely fill?
- Practice Honesty/Authenticity
Authenticity is currently a popular buzzword, but how are we doing as a church family in this area? Being honest with the ups and downs, moments of praise, and moments of doubt are crucial to healthy church community. Consider, could one of the reasons new believers fall away from the faith be due to a lack of examples of how to walk through doubt, hardship, pain, and questions in an honest way that still holds tight to the anchor of Truth? Many of us know what it’s like to be asked, “How are you?” and respond, “I’m fine,” with a painted on face of peace and a smile while below the surface, a spiritual battle exists. We are told in God’s Word that these spiritual battles occur, we know them so intimately, yet why do we keep the flying bullets and carnage hidden for fear of falling short? What’s an area of your life that you need to be more honest about with someone? Share your journey in a way that sheds light on broken places and spurs on your fellow believers. Pause and ask God to put someone from your church family on your heart to be more vulnerable with. No fear, just honesty.
- Use Pain as a Resource for Understanding
When I was in middle school I was bullied. Strangely enough, I was bullied by a small group of girls who had once been my core group of friends. I believe this personal experience gave me a better sightline for those around me who were not included. While not perfect at executing all the time, my personal pain at being denied friendship led me to see and desire to befriend those who didn’t seem to belong. What could have been a moment that led to bitterness or self-preservation, God graciously used to give me more of His eyes for the people around me. Do you have past pain, trauma, heartache or experiences that allow you to see a certain group of people more clearly? Reach out, invite them to coffee, include them in a group event. Allow your difficult past experiences to be used by God for His Kingdom.
At Forge we always say, “Prayer is the work.” Do you believe that the world changes when we bend our knees and speak to God? Remind yourself today, and every day after that, of just how intimate and powerful prayer can be. Praying takes us from bystanders to co-laborers with Christ, in all that He is doing in the world around us! Start with five minutes right now, and write things down if that helps you stay focused. Ask God, “Who and what is on your heart that I can be praying for?”
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