Me: Daddy, next year I’m going to Africa so that I can help in the missions field.
Dad: Mmmhm, we will see, Ashley.
Me: No, really, dad! I’m going to go!
Dad: One day. You will in due time.
The dialogue above is a short conversation my dad and I had about 16 years ago. I a was 10-year-old lover of Jesus who had a burning desire to go to into the missions field to “help.” Obviously my parents weren’t going to send their young child into the field alone, so they nurtured me to love serving and worshiping. As time went along, I still had a desire to go on mission with God, but it waned as other life milestones took center-stage and I developed in my faith as a servant.
Over the last seven years or so, though, the burning passion to go into the field and “help” has greatly increased. What is awesome about this resurfacing desire is that “help” is now more clearly defined. I have a personal ministry statement (and I encourage all believers, regardless of whether you have a title or are a part of the five-fold to have a ministry statement) that reminds me of my desires as it relates to serving God, both in His house and out in the world. My ministry statement reads as follows:
I desire to instruct people in how to connect with God by means of worship and biblical teaching, and to show people Christ through holistic missions work.
I wrote this statement about three years ago to give clarity to how I felt I was called to serve God in the kingdom. It has helped me to remain focused and remember the vision God has given me. How does this come into play practically? Well, I love worship and am one of the worship leaders at my local church. I compose Christian pieces and travel to lead worship. This ties into my ministry statement entirely because:
1. Worship, according to scripture, is obedience. And the Word tells us to go to every nation to preach the Gospel. I fully intend to fulfill this Commission. (Matthew 28:18-20)
2. I view music only as a platform to share the Gospel–hence why I don’t mention music in the statement–it is a means to a very important end (salvation and deliverance).
3. Teaching the scripture enlightens people to the truth of Christ and makes the Word clear through the help of the Holy Spirit.
So, the time has finally come (16 years after the conception of the dream) to go into the field to worship. I will be going to Ecuador this year to serve the impoverished there, and I couldn’t be more honored and excited! This is the beginning of a new phase in serving the Kingdom and it didn’t happen overnight. Keep this in mind, please, if you are discouraged that a dream hasn’t come to fruition yet. There is a season for everything under the sun. Therefore, if God ordained it to be…it SHALL be :).
For now, serve well where you are! I absolutely love THE local church and MY local church. I serve there weekly and am thankful for the covering of my pastors. The local church is the catalyst for what happens in the field or any other area of ministry outside of the church walls. Don’t abandon ship! Be faithful and the Lord will exalt you!
Here’s to Serving the Kingdom Well.
P.S. I will be posting about my preparation for the mission’s field over the next several months. Look out for ways you can help mission’s work be carried out this summer!