As a minister, there are many activities to be done. Most of these I thoroughly enjoy (e.g., preaching, meeting a visitor for coffee, etc…) while a few activities can seem like a necessary evil at time (e.g., administrative work). But there is nothing more rewarding, rejuvenating, and fulfilling then witnessing another person to start catching a glimpse of how God is calling them to serve his missional purposes in this world.
This past Tuesday, my friend Hobby and I (Hobby is a domestic missionary and church planter who loves to equip others to walk with God) got to meet with a couple of Christians who have been coming to our house church but are beginning to see how God can uses them to further his mission in their own neighborhood. So there we sat as a group in the back of a coffee shop praying for the neighborhood of these people and praying for how God might use them to be living witnesses of the gospel that reconciles people back to God, one another, and the life they were created to live.
It is the same sort of conversations I always enjoyed with my friend Peter as he began to see how God could use him to be a minister to the youth at the Kandiyohi Church of Christ. It is the same sort of conversations I remember having with Tim & Jodi as they sought to be missional witnesses to their friends and neighbors. It is the same sort of conversations I remember having with Jon & Wanda who had a passion for teaching children the faith. It is the same sort of conversations I always enjoyed with Sharon, the wife of one of my elders in Ithaca, whose passion for the youth was fueled by the jubilant story of her own life that God had written for her (and still was). It is the same sort of conversations I remember having with Drake over lunch at the Ithaca Bakery about living out our faith in a way that is integrated to all of life. It is the same sort of conversations I remember having with Lurdges and Espigito in Brazil as they contemplated a Bible-study group that met at their house might one day become a new church plant.
The most amazing thing is what I learn from each of these conversations. I am reminded that ministry is not just a job with tasks to complete and then be forgotten upon completion…no, the mission of God is about people, humble service that forgets myself for the sake of others, that pursues relationships with an awareness that God is constantly at work in subversive ways bringing about his glory upon the earth.
As I look towards moving to Randolph, New Jersey and serving as a missional leader (minister) with the Randolph Church of Christ, these are the conversations I look forward to having more of…conversations where we discover God at work, where we hear God’s missional call, where we respond just as God’s servant Isaiah did many years ago “Here I am; send me!” (Isa 6.8).
 One of the reasons I knew I would accept an invitation to serve as the minister with this church if they offered it to me (which they did) was because it was very apparent that they have already had these conversations and that there were many more of these conversations to come.