3 Things that Shape Me in Ministry

I would have to say there are some things that God has used to shape me in ministry more than other things. Some things I do not care to speak of again, but most things I love to share with others. Hopefully, my 3 things will help you as you seek what God has for you in ministry today. While working with students, I think it is important to allow God to use others/things in your life to mold you in His image. No man or woman is an island; we won’t make it trying to figure out Scripture alone.
First, the people I have met during my life have definitely been used by the Lord to shape me into the person I am today. From accountability partners in college to leaders in my church, God has shown His grace and mercy through each person. I remember a professor I had in college that used to tell me ‘If you don’t run your life, someone else will and it might as well be me.’ At the time, I thought it was humorous because I thought I was in charge of my decisions. But honestly, if you don’t make a decision, it will be made for you by someone or something else. God has used others in my life to help me make wise decisions or help me to understand why something is happening. God sees the bigger picture and I believe puts others in our lives to help look past what’s right in front of us.
The second thing that has helped shape me in ministry would have to be the books I have read. One book that I read a long time ago that I continue to think about is ‘Mere Christianity’. C.S. Lewis writes about how Christianity, whatever you believe, has common ground on which you can stand together as believers, whether it is faith, morality, forgiveness, etc. Sometimes, in life you are unsure what to do, so I believe God continues to use people and their testimonies to speak into your life. Books can definitely do that and are helpful to have to refer back to in the written form when God uses it for you. Here is an exert from ‘The Pursuit of God’ by A.W. Tozer about meekness and rest that has resonated with me,

“The rest He offers is the rest of meekness, the relief which comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend. It will take courage at first, but the needed grace will come as we learn that we are sharing this new and easy yoke with the strong Son of God Himself. He calls it ‘my yoke’ and He walks at one end while we walk at the other.”
Finally, and most importantly, is the Scripture that changes you. I have been a believer for most of my life, as I accepted Christ when I was 7. I have spent time memorizing Scripture and reading the Bible, but it doesn’t help unless I apply it to my own life.  It is easy to say I know these verses or I know that Bible story, but unless I see how it has changed me, then I am missing the whole point. God has given us His Word so that we have a way to change from sinful to holy. I am not perfect, but because of what Jesus did for me and His Word, I am able to stand and share with others what He can do for them too. Romans 8:38-39 is one example of Scripture that has shaped me, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. God will shape you if you allow Him to do it!