Four years ago, I had a great mentor tell me that ministry cannot be done great without it becoming your passion. As I started to ask him what he meant, he gave me an example. He shared about a guy who had an incredible passion for his ministry. He had a desire to truly see each person become the man or woman of God that they were called to be. He was so passionate that he made sure that his ministry didn’t become a 9-5 job, but instead became a lifestyle. This leader intentionally made an effort to change people’s hearts – whether it meant opening his home, visiting people at late hours of the night, even sacrificing an NBA basketball game in order to attend a members son’s high school basketball game. Through his incredible passion, lives were changed and he was trusted by many people.
I continually remember thinking of this story as I started to get plugged into ministry. I didn’t want to be someone that just did it because they were asked, or did it to make myself feel good. I really wanted lives to change and be used by God to be an example to people. Shortly after, ministry became a passion.
A leader of mine one time asked me about something that reminded me of this idea. They said, “I’m really passionate about students in our ministry, and I love to do what I can to be a great example no matter what it takes. But, how can I further what I’m already doing now?” In that moment, I didn’t know how to respond but thought of the prior story for some reason. I asked God for some words, and He gave me some. I responded telling him that people don’t only have one passion. I asked him what his other passions were, besides ministry. He told me that he was really passionate about sports and camp fires. So I encouraged him to use those passion to feed into the students in the ministry. Walking away, I thought I was an idiot because I could’ve said more. Yet shortly after, he started an ultimate frisbee day where every Tuesday after school, students would gather from all over and play ultimate frisbee. They would play for about 2 hours and then have a fire and roast hot dogs and cook smores. We saw student’s come to Christ because of the example this leader was being. Countless, life-changing conversations occurred during these Tuesdays (and throughout the week) because this leader found that God could use his passions to minister to people. And what this leader didn’t know at the time was that he was not only being an example to students, but to me as well – to want to use my passions to change the lives of people.