“The Minister: Where does my passion fit into all this?”
“The Great Commission,” Jesus’ instructions to the disciples before his ascension into Heaven, sums up what believers are to be about. Most people put the emphasis on the word go, using it as a battle cry when promoting mission opportunities or encouraging believers to be intentional in evangelism, but we shouldn’t ignore other words in this passage that may be even more helpful in understanding the approach believers should take in ministry.
Grammatically speaking, the active verb in the passage is make. The phrase therefore go in the original text, if literally translated, means as you go or going. Going, baptizing, and teaching are all participles acting as adverbs. They tell where and how to make disciples. All this considered, the message of the Great Commission is that we are to make disciples as we go by baptizing and teaching those with whom we come in contact.
The word nation refers to people groups, whether that be a cultural group, an industrial group, a language group, a socio-economic group, etc. God wants to reconcile the world, all nations, to Himself. To do that, God created an army of specialized believers to reach into each and every nook and cranny of the world in which we live.
What does that mean for you? Answer this question. If you could spend the rest of your life doing one thing and time and money were no object, what would you do? (Remember to put aside any obligation that you may feel to fit into a traditional ministerial role.) The answer is your passion. If the passion is God-honoring, it may play a key role in the assignment God has for you. In fact, it is very likely. God did not intend for all of us to line up for the same job. There are as many specialized ministry assignments as there are believers, and each of us has been carefully created by God to fill one of those assignments. If we ignore the way God created us, making our own modifications so that we fit into someone else’s space, then we interfere with God’s plan.
Most individuals called to ministry do not serve on church staff, not because they are disobedient, but because God never intended for them to do so. Most will hold traditional, or secular, jobs. They may serve as a volunteer in an organized ministry as well, serve as a bi-vocational minister (ministers and has another job), or minister in a unique way through their secular job. Which will describe you? Only God knows, but one thing is for sure. Your assignment will involve telling others about God’s love and helping other Christians continue to follow Christ.
Respond to the following in your journal:
What is your passion?
How might God use your passion area to reach the world with the Gospel and make disciples? Can you see it yet?
What did you learn through Bible study today?
How were you encouraged? How were you challenged?