Ministry…what does that word even mean? Many of us associate that with serving or volunteering, while others may associate that word with their vocation. Missions and outreach may also come to mind. But in reality, it’s all ministry.
The word ‘ministry’ has always meant something to me, and recently, it took on a new meaning. In January of 2015—after five years of serving—I was brought on full-time as the Worship Arts Pastor at my church. My wife and I had been praying for a long time that God would open this door, and He did! Leading up to the first day on staff brought on a lot of emotions: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and personal fulfillment, to name a few. I was ready to hit the ground running, and I had a plan.
We are a mid-sized church in Orlando, and it was a huge step of faith for our church body to hire two full-time pastors this year, one of them being myself. I quickly realized during my first week, that Worship Arts was just a fraction of my role. Being that there are only four pastors on our staff, including our lead pastor, all of our plates are pretty full.
The first week came and went very quickly; my head was spinning! I knew that, vocationally speaking, ministry was not a breeze. But even though I had been part-time for five years, I really had no idea just how true that was. Before long, I was re-configuring our soundboard, editing videos, designing sermon graphics, overhauling our children’s ministry room, making maintenance supply runs to Home Depot, preparing for new songs, calling the fire martial, making hospital visits, and so on. The list was almost overwhelming. Thankfully, I work with the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of serving with. They are patient, courteous and great teammates. My fellow pastors are true men of God and incredible leaders.
I would be lying to you if I did not admit to thinking to myself, “Will I even have time to prepare for worship?” I went home and prayed about it, and God spoke to me and revealed what I had written and spoken about so many times before: Worship is everything you do in service to the Lord. I felt ridiculous thinking that my schedule was overwhelming, and then I thought about my fellow pastors, and what great examples they are. They’re doing the exact same thing—wearing multiple hats, serving where needed, and are never too busy to pray and meet with those in our church body.
It’s incredible how God can take a person and change their perspective. For me, being called to ministry as a worship pastor means a calling to so much more than music. I learned that I am a Pastor, first and foremost, and that I’m not just the music guy. A pastor is a shepherd of God’s church. That’s serious business, not to be taken lightly. But it’s also a blessing to know that God can use me in so many more ways than arranging worship song sets, writing original music, or conducting rehearsals and worship gatherings. I’m not just the music guy. I now begin my days with praying a simple prayer: “God, use me however you can to further your kingdom, and spread your gospel.”
Here are some of the things that I learned in my first month:
- Whether you are staff or volunteering, serve with the attitude of a servant.
- Make it a point to remember that we were called to this service, not by our doing, but by God’s.
- Have an attitude that is both submissive to Jesus, but also to your leadership.
- Thank God for every opportunity you have to serve others.
- Be ready to meet the need, no matter what that is.
This article originally appeared here.