Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Ministry of Presence

I remember one day at my first full-time ministry the senior minister and I were going to be with one of our church families who was taking their elderly mom off of life support. As a person who tends to say stupid things when I am uncomfortable, I asked Shane, the Senior Minister, what I should say. He said, “We don’t have to say anything to them. Our presence will let them know that God is with them.”

That day I began to understand a little about the powerful ministry of presence. We didn’t have to preach a long sermon or offer an eloquent prayer. We didn’t have to have all of the answers or something profound to say, we just had to be there. (and luckily I didn't say anything stupid!)

Several years ago my phone rang around 10:45 p.m. on a Friday night. I was a little apprehensive as to the late night call. One of our Apache friends was on the other end. He proceeded to tell me that he had just been down all day. His sister had been flown to a Phoenix hospital with congestive heart failure and work had not gone well. The worries and stress of life were weighing him down.

He was so down that this man that eats, sleeps and breathes baseball was ready to walk away from the little league team he was coaching and walk home (about 5 miles). He told me he was ready to walk and then he looked down the sideline and saw us there cheering for him and his team. Choked up he simply said, “Thank you for being at the game.”

No sermons were preached. Not a single profound thought was shared. However, we were where God wanted us to be and ministry happened. Don't overlook the powerful ministry of presence. Are you where you need to be for ministry to happen?


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder... need to get out of my office more.