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Ministry 24/7

By Paul Colman
as told to Jennifer E. Jones I see ministry as relationships. We’re one with God and one with people. Therefore, I don’t even think about [balancing ministry with career]. I’m ministering no matter what I’m doing, whether I’m on the plane or doing the show or talking to you.

Our hearts are in ministry to God. He knows the secret thoughts that are going through your mind and your heart right now. He knows the same with me. He knows whether I’m thinking, I can’t wait ‘till this is over, or I really want to serve You. He hears all that; it’s loud in His ear. That’s where our ministry begins -- when those other thoughts come through, and we say, “Get out. God, what do You want to say?”

For me, it’s talking to [a reporter] and making them feel like the only person in the world. To me, getting that stuff right is the ministry. Because whatever you do with that attitude, it’s going to minister to God and others.

I don’t like to compartmentalize my day into ministry moments and non-ministry moments. A lot of people like to. They pray for a ministry opportunity. It just sounds like someone speaking Latin to me. It doesn’t make any sense how someone can choose a ministry moment.

I can have a ministry moment with the person who’s at [airport] security. What if something unseen through the Holy Spirit passes through a smile from me to him when everyone else is giving him frowns? What if that’s exactly what he needed? What if he said, “God, just let someone smile at me, and I’ll know that You love me?” How do we know? It is a ministry opportunity. It's when we order coffee. It doesn’t stop.

People like to validate themselves and be religious. That's not relational. The most ineffective ministry moment is when you’re performing. There’s this stage, an audience, and lights, and it’s good. But you can’t disciple anyone from stage. So my life would be my ministry.

A girl came over to baby-sit my kids, and I asked her where she’d been. She said she was on a missions trip to Ireland. That sounds like a normal statement but to me that’s abnormal. I asked her why did she call it a ‘missions trip’. Don’t you go everywhere to do that? Does that change when you go to Ireland? Did you come tonight to look after my kids as a missions trip? Because my kids are a mission.

People validate one trip over another. You don’t view a trip to 7-11 as a mission so you’re disengaged, but Paul talks about us being soldiers. We’re always engaged. We’re always on a mission even if that mission is to relax and take some time to chill out.

We validate ourselves with all this stuff, and when you wipe it all away, all you’ve got is loving God and loving people. That’s it, and that’s what Jesus said when He was asked what’s the most important thing.

Our relationship with God and our relationship with each other are the only two things that will pass into eternity. Everything else is gone. Therefore, they must be the most important things here. So if you’re burnt out that means you haven’t put enough focus on relationships. That’s your restoration. Everything should happen through that. That’s your ministry.

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