Our passions aren’t independent of God’s plans for us. Before we were born, God appointed special gifts, passions, and callings to each of us. Ephesians 3 tells us so. It says: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 3:10).
It’s easy enough to walk in the “good deeds” God has prepared for us each day by simply putting on the character of Christ—hospitality, service, generosity. But sometimes walking in a specific path—consistently—is more challenging. So, how do you turn a passion for a specific good deed into a full-fledged ministry?
Here are some simple ideas for moving beyond the idea-stage of service.
Align your passions with God’s will in prayer.
If the Great Artist is the One who designed our good works for us, then we should consult Him first! After all, our lives are His “handiwork” reflecting His good plans for us and the world.
What should you pray for? First, pray for God’s will to be done in your life. Sketching out the framework of a ministry based on your own designs will not result in lasting success. Second, pray for an alignment of your passions with God’s will. Another way to think of this alignment is a “calling.”
Full-time ministry is hard work; giving life to the lost and hurting of the world requires unswerving commitment sustained by a supernatural initiative. Discerning if your passion is a “call” to ministry occurs best through prayer.
Look around you. The world is a broken place, and you’ve got the gift of hope. If you have a passion to meet a particular need, be on the lookout for opportunities to serve.
Most good deeds start out small, so observe where you can jump into the immediate needs around you. Then serve some more, because a heart primed for service is more easily shaped and molded by the Artist.
Build a support base.
Because we are God’s “handiwork,” you can bet that the Great Artist won’t leave us on our own to complete His “good deeds.” Not only is He capable of sustaining of our good deeds, but He is responsible for growing our support base for us along the way.
The apostles formed a network of supporters through localized communities. The ministry support they sought included prayer, encouragement, service, and financial gifts.
In addition to these forms of help, God has created you to serve Him in a day when technology forms the backbone of many modern support networks. Is it a stretch of the imagination to think that hashtags would have littered the encouraging words of Barnabas? No way! We can see Paul bringing glory to God’s name on Facebook just as easily as he did in the temple courts.
For grassroots ministries, social networking can offer crucial prayer and financial support. That’s why Giving of Life has incorporated a social media element to its grants process. Not only are we giving away over $150,000 between now and June 4, but Giving of Life helps ministries grow their support base. While not all applicants will win a grant (although we wish they could!), the social media aspect of our grant process helps them find encouragement, develop prayer partners, and mobilize new volunteers and ministry supporters.
Passion is important. But remember, Scripture is clear—God is the One at work in our lives. He is the One that gives life, purpose, and passion (Eph. 3:1). That means the design of the Artist is guaranteed to yield the most success for His name. We are only required to be faithful with our God-given passions.
Are you a Giving of Life Applicant for 2012 that desires to be featured on our blog? Contact Sarah Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment and we’ll contact you! We can’t wait to share more of your story with the world!