Preparing

With a house full of kids and a schedule that is just a little chaotic, I seek the early morning hours for a little solitude and time to myself before it gets too crazy.  There is a spot at my kitchen table where I commune with God, or if it's nice outside I find a place on the deck.  Then I take whatever time I have left to study and prepare for those opportunities of ministry that God has already brought my way and for those He will provide in the future.  Since I never know when or where God may use me in His ministry next, I always try to be prepared for the next opportunity He will open up for me.

We all have interests that capture a lot of our time and intrigue.  Those who are history buffs spend much of their time reading books on history and even engaging in reenactments of historic events.  If you love to tending and cultivating plants, then you will spend hours in your garden and working on the landscape around your home.  For those that like to push themselves to the limit, training for that next triathlon or even becoming an instructor of the next fitness craze fills their tank every day.

I'm not the biggest history buff, horticulturalist, or fitness guru, so if I want to learn a little more about those things then I usually have to ask those who are more knowledgeable than me.  They have prepared themselves to know and experience more than the average guy, therefore they are qualified to share that knowledge with others.  People tend to think this same principle applies to those who are in the ministry.  These men (and women) are supposed to be experts in the Bible and all things churchy, so it's okay to sit back and let them do the work so that we can just sit at their feet and learn from them.

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to his brother in the faith Timothy, and in it he encourage Timothy to "be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)  Timothy was overseeing the church in Ephesus at the time of the letter, and he was responsible not for simply running the show but for engaging and equipping the believers in Ephesus do do the work of the ministry themselves.  In other words, the role of the church leaders was to equip the rest of the church to be leaders so that the kingdom of God would grow and thrive.

If you are a follower of Christ, you live with the reality that God has called you to be a man or woman who is prepared in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2) to proclaim God's truth.  You may not be an expert in the Bible or be able to discuss intricate theological details, but you are called to be God's minister, one who is prepared at all times to speak for Him. 

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