This summer, my family had the wonderful privilege of going to a Christian family Dude Ranch near Estes Park, Colorado for a week. We spent an amazing week enjoying God's creation in the mountains of Colorado, getting to know several other families from around the U.S., studying God's Word together every morning, horseback riding, having fun with our kids (even our teenagers), and being spoiled by the staff at Wind River Ranch (windriverranch.com). My brief description here will never do it justice. This is a ranch you must experience for yourself.
I continuously saw examples of how the staff took their job seriously as they served others by praying for them, offering words of encouragement, teaching our children about God's love for them, role modeling Christian values for our teenagers, glorifying God in all they did,... The staff and ranch hands put in long days but their focus seemed unwavering. Keep your eyes on Christ-the maker and perfecter of your soul.
It was truly a mountaintop experience. While I thought I might have been able to offer some encouragement to some of them, they gave back so much more to me and my family. Too often, we approach ministry as a 1-way street.
What can my pastor do for me?
How can this person serve me?
We forget that healthy relationships and healthy ministries must be built on 2-way communication. While I may have been able to encourage a few people while we were there, I can certainly continue to offer words of encouragement to them through cards and prayers on their behalf.
What ministries has the Lord put in your life? How have you viewed those ministries (ie-as a 1-way or 2-way street)? What action do you need to take to begin to have 2-way communication with those ministries (ie-offer words of encouragement, send an email, offer to pray for them,...)?
We are to be Christ's hands and feet in this world. Let Him lead you as you begin this 2-way process.