I often pray that God will help me be a minister of His Gospel instead of an event coordinator; a programmer.  Turns out, it is so much easier to ‘program’ than it is to minister.

Programming is when you:

  • organize
  • coordinate
  • and teach an event about God.  

Sounds great, except it’s not ministering.  Ministering is when you:

  • organize prayerfully,
  • coordinate with a mind to shepherd and empower the body of Christ,
  • and teach through a desperate and deep dependence on the Spirit of God out of a heart broken for His people.

There are three lies that generally keep me focused on programming instead of ministry.

Lie #1: If you were doing this ‘right,’ it would be easy.

I hear Paul’s voice echoing in my head:



“being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” (1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV)

I guess if ministry is about laboring and raising spiritual children, then it makes sense that we should feel as exhausted and spent as a nursing mother waking at all hours to ensure her child eats.

Lie #2: Ministering like this means you doubt God’s sovereignty or His grace.

I can hear it in my head: the lie that I don’t have to be burdened for these women because God is sovereign; the lie that if my heart feels the weight of the responsibility of leadership, then I am not trusting God.

But the Bible makes it clear: believing in God’s sovereignty will lead to more urgency, more prayer, more consideration, more heartbreak over those we lead – never less.  Do not confuse apathy with faith.

Tweet this: Do not confuse apathy with faith. #vergewomen

A right view of God will result in a heart desperate to be faithful.

Lie #3: There is more comfort in programming than ministry.

Programming and ministry may not look that different to the casual observer but if you examine the heart, which one you are doing will reveal if you are in this thing for your glory or God’s.

See, if you want your glory, you’ll pick the easiest way to get it: programming.  Ministry may toss some praise your way, but that’s not guaranteed, and it’s a far harder path.

Programing takes mental and strategic strength.  It takes time and effort.  Yet, it results in just as much praise from men. If anything – I get more glory out of programming.  People often leave events making much of me or the experience they had, rather than God.  Programming can be hard, but it doesn’t require that I turn my insides out and pour myself before the Father in need.

The only reason you would ever fight to do ministry instead of programming is because you believe that God’s glory holds more joy than anything else.  He says the way to get that is seeking lasting change in the lives of those you lead.  So that’s what you devote yourself to, even if people don’t like you along the way.

For doubters like me – the comfort you feel when you suddenly realize you’re doing something that you would never do unless you trusted the promises of God – that comfort far outweighs any this life offers.

Tweet this: Do something that you would never do unless you trusted the promises of God #vergewomen

Want to pursue ministry today? Here are ways to start:

  • Look at your to-do list for today.  What people will you interact with?  Take a few moments to consider how to stir them up to love and good deeds.
  • What people are you serving?  Take a few moments to list out sins or struggles or suffering you know they are facing and then pray and ask God to break your heart for them.
  • Consider the events or things are you organizing.  Pray that God would use them to be an answer to the brokenness in the people you serve.