More on "Is Ministry Fulfilling?"

I’d like to add some things to my Is Ministry Fulfilling? post. I said that the difference between my early and later ministries was that, in my later one, I was talking more about God, whereas, in my early one, I was just helping people. I think that my later one required me to do a lot of false advertising: I had to act as if I knew how to live my life and possessed the answers to people’s problems. I mean, when you get up to teach a Bible study class, you have to have something to offer, right? In my early ministry, however, I didn’t exactly have to be a sage. I just stocked food, collected money for good causes, and was friendly to those I met. That was my work for God and others. Those were the ways I glorified Christ.

Also, there wasn’t a whole lot of formality in those early days. I used to go to the nursing home to read the Bible to elderly residents, and that was an enjoyable activity. But, now, if I want to do that with the local hospitals, I have to undergo all sorts of training. On one occasion, when I asked to visit the hospital residents, the hospital lady looked at me like she didn’t know what I was talking about.

And the pressure wasn’t as great when I was first doing ministry. I just sorted goods or visited people. When I took service jobs, however, I was required to come up with all these activities. I also had to be in charge on some occasions, and that was not fun. I prefer to participate in a structure that already exists, not design it all by myself.

Of course, I have grown up, and that may be why things are harder and people expect more out of me. But I wonder if there are opportunities to do the simple sort of ministry that I once did.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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