How to recognise God’s presence when
we volunteer for Church ministry.
His love and assistance can be very clear.
Reinforcing our belief in him.
I realise that if you are just beginning your Christian journey of faith, it is less likely that you will be involved with ‘church ministry teams’ right now.
But when you do, then you will more than likely see evidence of God’s presence there, assisting and supporting the ministry … just as I have in the past. And happening far too often to ignore it, I must add!
Involving ourselves in ministry really can strengthen both our belief in God and our Christian faith. (To see the who’s, how’s and why’s of this website please click here.)
2. WHY AND HOW WE INVOLVE OURSELVES
Now, why do we involve ourselves in church ministries? And how do we do so?
2.1 Why Christians involve themselves in ministry?
Well, firstly as Christians, we are called to care about our fellow human beings … indeed as much as we care about ourselves. That is made very clear to us within the Bible. This includes for example helping those who are in real need, in any way that we can. It can even involve us bringing non-Christians to our faith, through the process called evangelism.
And bear in mind there are reasons for our involvement that particularly relate to what God wants. Of course he loves those people who are in need and can importantly demonstrate that love he does have for them, through ‘our ministry’. We are effectively working for him, and that can be made clear to them. And by and large, they appreciate our ‘good works’, and as such should also feel our Lord’s love through those works.
God’s unconditional love to each and every one of us, sits at the VERY CORE of our beautiful religion. So why wouldn’t we want to help make that clear to anyone and everyone, especially those doing it tough. Or even those who haven’t yet come to know him.
2.2 How do we minister for our churches?
These church ministries might involve visiting and supporting others in the community who are suffering from emotional or physical hardship. Possibly it may include feeding the poor or helping the homeless. Or it may even require supporting patients in a hospital.
Maybe we ‘can be called’ to visit our brothers and sisters in Christ (possibly from our own church fellowship) in their own homes. They may be in hard times, and need ministry in that environment. Perhaps they’ve been missing out on regular church attendances because of those hardships.
Look, it could be the role of host for an Alpha course, effectively as an evangelist. Helping others to find Christianity for themselves. (Sound Christian faith has a lot to offer for each of us.) Indeed, if you have the time, please read the article, “Building sound faith“. And please read, “Too good to be true?” if you would like to read about my own journey to faith and belief.
Really, it includes any job to help others, through an organised church ministry, that you know the Lord wants done!
3. GOD’S PRESENCE IN OUR MINISTRIES
If the ministry service is offered selflessly out of dedication to God – as an act of loving care to fellow human beings – then it is most likely that those engaged in it will witness the Lord’s presence at work there.
3.1 Recognising his presence
For a start, actions related to our ministries just tend to easily ‘fall into place’, far more than could be expected under the ‘law of averages’. It’s about that ‘more of the same, more of the same’ evidence of God’s presence that I regularly mention through this website. And I am clearly meaning that examples of this should even be obvious to a cautious thinker.
That is especially so if we are genuinely selfless in our dedication AND we deliberately invite God to assist us in our ministry. God’s methods of assisting us in our day-to-day lives is discussed more fully in the articles, “God’s guidance” and “God’s helping hand”. But I think you will come to notice his assistance at work, even more clearly in ministries, than you would within your everyday life.
3.2 And sometimes in unexpected ways
When I was involved with a voluntary pastoral care team, that ministers to hospital patients, I witnessed many events that were indeed ‘special’. Sure as Christian volunteers, we would expect to witness ‘spiritual healing’ for the sick, after our prayers with them. But from my own view of circumstances and events, the healing was (strangely you might think in that setting) more likely to be emotional than physical.
On so many occasions God appeared to orchestrate or set-up ‘openings’ for us, just at the appropriate time, to assist patients during their ‘hardest times‘ there during their hospital stay. For ‘starters’ it is not unusual for patients to find old ’emotional baggage’ weighing them down when suffering from the drawn out after-effects of surgery and other treatment. Members of our team, most able to assist – often because they had experienced similar hardships in life to the patient – would normally find themselves matched up with them. Ready to sympathise, and possibly pray, with them. (God would then do the rest of course, proving his loving presence to them.)
Of course, that is in contrast to the more ‘graphic’ examples of healing that I have mentioned in the article, “Miracle healing”. If you would like a broader understanding of that kind of stuff, please see the article, “Experiencing the Holy Spirit”. Hmmm … well … you might just be struggling to believe me? But yes, it actually does happen! A small example of this ‘Holy Spirit’ stuff follows.
4. GOD LOVES US ALL THE MORE
I mentioned earlier that our work within these kind of ministries does please the Lord. So, don’t be surprised if he makes that clear to you in some way. That is, if you enter into church ministries. Indeed, more likely, be surprised if he does not!
And I will give an example of some Holy Spirit stuff, that I experienced in that regard. It was related to the voluntary pastoral care work in that hospital mentioned above. Our team of volunteers worked to a roster as lay ministers. And I was ‘on my way home’, after resigning from my own place on that roster. I had performed the role for 10 years, and was about to fill a different ministry position for my church.
Currently, as mentioned earlier, I am a member of a evangelical Protestant church, but I have also been a Christian ‘Charismatic’ for decades. Again, if you have heard little about it, please read what follows with an open mind.
As I turned the corner, entering the long street in which I live, thoughts about our loving Lord just ‘popped into my head’. And I then felt a ‘spiritual’ nudge through my being. Yes, I knew it was God at work.
Now I had been ‘touched’ by the Holy Spirit a number of times in the past, as explained in the article, “Is this Holy Spirit stuff real?” So yes, I understood what was happening. From that point, the sensation within my ‘being’ centred around my heart. And my heart was soon reacting to a strong supernatural sense of love. And it actually hurt a bit, but the experience was also so special and beautiful. Yes, a mix of physical, emotional and spiritual sensations all at work. Powerful feelings. And absolutely supernaturally driven!
By the time I reached my home at the end of the street I knew exactly how much he loved me. And how much he appreciated my previous efforts in that ministry.
Now these successful ministries presumably function through all of Christendom. And it is certainly not just applicable to the so-called Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement. Unlike me, I do not believe that any of my fellow pastoral care team members belonged to the ‘movement’. Yet God utilised them, and still does, to effectively ‘glorify his name’. And as such they just as effectively support other ‘children of God’ in that hospital setting that I have referred to (proving the Lord’s love for them).
Because of these types of positive faith and belief building outcomes, I certainly advise everyone to become involved with the Church’s ministries if at all possible. It is so satisfying I can assure you. Your own belief in God and your Christian faith should both grow ‘big-time’ as a result.
This article is the last in this section of the website, explaining how ‘belief in God’ and ‘Christian faith’ can both be developed within the Church. It is critical for all of us to ‘join a fellowship of faith‘; a church, during our journey of faith. It is also important to apply our growing faith to our ‘day-to-day lives’: to fully engage with God there.
Please continue on to the first article, “God’s presence in our lives” in the following section of the website.