“Do I Have To Go?”

Barbara Brown Taylor wrote a helpful book on preaching that extends way beyond preaching. Here is a section that she wrote regarding where we go when we follow Jesus.

Affirming the ministry of every baptized Christians is not an idea that appeals to many lay people today. It sounds like more work, and most of them have all the work they can do. It sounds like more responsibility, while most of them are staggering under loads that are already too heavy. I will never forget the woman who listened to my speech on the ministry of the laity as God’s best hope for the world and said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be that important.”

Like many of those who sit beside her at church, she hears the invitation to ministry as an invitation to do more —to lead the every member canvas, or cook supper for the homeless, or teach vacation church school. Or she hears the invitation to ministry as an invitation to be more—to be more generous, more loving, more religious. No one has ever introduced to the idea that her ministry might involve being just who she already is and doing what she already does, with one difference: namely that she understands herself to be God’s person in and for the world. (The Preaching Life, p.27-28)

I totally agree with Barbara that our ministry is our daily activities and relationships, but lived with the identity of being a child of God. God has placed each of us in our unique settings to be God’s agent, God’s hands, feet, heart and voice in God’s world. We don’t need to travel to a distant land to do “mission” work, we do “mission” work in our homes, offices, schools, and community as we interact with others. A “mission” trip may help us to see the needs of God’s world and to discover our dependable strengths and gifts to meet those needs. It may strengthen our relationship with God and others, but mission can happen wherever we are.

Lord Jesus, let me rediscover my mission in you today.

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