Leadership: There's a Ministry in the Dirt
I've read and written about lots of ministries. I've participated in and led them. I've heard about new ideas and have seen changed lives. But recently, a ministry cropped up right under my nose, and I never saw it coming.
Grab your Pitchfork
My sister, Kathy, has a knack for finding people in need. She also has a knack for filling the need. When a neighbor admired her roses, it was natural for Kathy to offer recommendations and help her place an order.
Sounds simple enough, right? Not really. Not with my sister. The roses showed up a few days later, and there were holes to be dug and dirt to be hauled. Kathy showed up, pitchfork in hand and ready to work.
Word got around, and next thing I knew, Kathy was across the street at another neighbor's house. He watched her two-year old while she wielded the pitchfork again. She dug; neighbors talked. And there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Kathy cared.
The conversation has continued now across many weeks and has found its way to deeper topics about life and faith, parenting and marriage and more. Who knew there was a ministry in the dirt?
Kathy had a crew of workers at her house last week. The job of laying a stone patio was long, and the days were hot. So Kathy stowed the pitchfork and made smoothies for the guys. They were refreshed and astounded by her hospitality.
Lessons in Ministry
Kathy and I are very different. She is a people person. I'm a task person. She serves with a pitchfork and blender. I serve with a keyboard and website. She has never had a ministry title, a budget or a calendar of events. I currently have all three yet still have much to learn about leading and serving. Here are a couple of lessons that have come to the forefront lately.
Passion is a Great Place to Start
Kathy is passionate about roses and food. What she did for her neighbors and crew of workers was all in a day's work doing what she loves and loving people in the process. True passion invites true relationships.
Nothing Says "Love" Like Serving
Getting your hands dirty for the sake of someone else will earn both the opportunity and right to be heard. People are willing to listen when they know you truly care.
If you have a heart to serve, you won't need an impressive title, hefty budget or calendar of events to fit the bill. Some fine tuned passion and a willingness to meet needs will do just fine in the work of building God's kingdom. And just in case, you might want to grab the pitchfork.
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Karen True is living a story that can only be explained by the God who made her. She's led women's ministries and now serves as Contributing Editor at womensministry.net . She and her husband, Gerry, live in San Antonio, Texas and home school their two children and go to church in a barn...for real!
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