Ministry Motivation


“We must decide where we want our ministry to count – in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of our lives in a few chosen people who will carry on the work after we are gone.” – Robert Coleman

Standing OvationMy friend Jana Snyder sent me an article which contained the above quote. Much like the article’s author, I was “stopped in my tracks” as I read it. It served as a well-timed slap in the face.

I have always struggled a bit with pride and this pride extends to the types of ministry that I enjoy partaking in. Public speaking, organizing events, being a youth sponsor and creating meaningful (depending upon whom you ask) times of worship come immediately to mind as ministries that are important and can glorify God, but certainly contain opportunities for me to gain some glory as well.

In ministry areas such as service, visitation and grounds-keeping I’m significantly less inclined to volunteer. “That’s not where my gifts and passions lie,” I tell myself. “You’re much more suited for ‘public’ ministry.” While the first statement may be true, the second is nothing but a lie. I’m suited for ministry in any context, wherever God desires to place me. I’m not commanded to pick and choose where I will serve, I’m called to serve where I am, how I can.

I hope that as I continue to discover new opportunities God has placed before me that I won’t shy away from those that won’t earn me some acknowledgment or appreciation. I hope that I can learn to develop a “kingdom” view that evaluates opportunities based upon their long-term impact rather than whatever short-term benefit I might receive.


  1. Sam's Dad
    August 23, 2007 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    As you know, Todd, I’ve been a worship leader since I was 12 years old. One of the things I’ve found is that the church responds very well to worship leading when the leader also is involved in service. I’ve made it a practice to always participate in work days at the church facility. I’ve also been quick to help other brothers and sisters in manual labor at their house (building a deck, moving, painting, etc.). I’ve also made it a practice to be a regular visitor at the hospital, as well as funerals and weddings. This participation in the every day life of friends “earns” credibility and is a sign of true fellowship, which carries over to our assemblies.

  2. August 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    Well, there goes your reward Dad. I think I heard some trumpets announcing that comment.

  3. Megan
    August 24, 2007 at 4:01 pm — Reply

    I am always floored again and again when I read Phil. 2 about the Lord of Lords coming to serve instead of being served. Pride is a struggle of mine for sure. I will do the “service” jobs, but I still really want people to acknowledge that I have done them. I always deeply admire people that serve in lowly ways and I find out in a non-announced way.
    Sam, I understand what your Dad is saying. Quit giving him a hard time. 🙂

  4. Sam's Dad
    August 24, 2007 at 7:49 pm — Reply

    Thanks, Megan. Somebody needs to stick up for me.

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Ministry Motivation