Discover Your Personal Ministry | Think Outside the Box 

Nicholas Hindes

June 3, 2024

Hurtling down the streets of Marion, I could hardly remain upright in the passenger seat, as the law enforcement officer clicked a button on his dash. This special button turned the upcoming traffic light green for us. Next to me sat a semi-automatic assault rifle, positioned securely in an easy-access clip on the middle arm rest. My elbow pressed against its cold steel, as we jostled and swayed with the moves of the car.  

The officer driving was Joe, and when I first got in his vehicle for the night, he nonchalantly explained that the weapon would be available for use should an emergency arise. A former military chaplain, Joe has been on the Marion Police force for 5 years and is a fierce professional protector who operates with the utmost care for our city. You’d never know it from his laid back demeanor, but he’s seen some crazy stuff—literally saved people’s lives and stopped some of the most violent criminals.   

The evening I rode with him in his cop car, I got a front row seat to the needs of our city. As we rode third shift, from 8PM-2AM, I watched him love and protect others. In the midst of immense grief, Joe was able to sit with the deceased’s family members and loved ones and offer them hope in the middle of their crisis. 

Joe’s Personal Ministry  Relationship

Joe has often shared with me that he views his type of work not just as a job, but as a calling and a personal ministry.  As an ambassador for Christ, he takes up the mantle of 2 Corinthians 5, offering the message of reconciliation, as though Jesus were right there on the streets of Marion.  

Unfortunately, this kind of personal ministry is often . . . well . . . how do I say this? Viewed as NOT ministry. Too often, the definition of ministry is relegated to churches, worship settings and other traditionally spiritual environments. How many people have been written off because their ministry spheres rest outside the walls of a church building?

A Biblical Understanding of Personal Ministry

There is great need for us to revisit our understanding of personal ministry because until we do, we will walk by all the ministers whom we could have encouraged, prayed for, and even sent out as Kingdom Laborers.  

Scripture clearly articulates the impact of personal ministry. Not only did Jesus have a personal ministry at meal tables and social gatherings, but He also validated the ministry of Mary pouring perfume out on His feet.  

Scripture also tells us about Bezalel in Exodus 31. He was “filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding, in knowledge and in all kinds of craftsmanship to create artistic designs for gold, silver and bronze work.” His personal ministry was art! 

Regardless of one's wealth, their social status, or position in a church, we all have a personal ministry. Like Joe ministering on the streets of Marion or Bezalel creating magnificent art for the temple, there are so many types of personal ministry. Each day we all have a chance to be Kingdom Laborers and everyday evangelists wherever we go!

With that being said, let’s review a few personal ministry opportunities. 

Vocation:

This type of personal ministry perhaps has the most capacity for impact, but it is sometimes the most overlooked. This misconception comes from the lie that people think to “do ministry” you have to be a pastor, missionary, work for a church, or be in some other traditional ministry role. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Jesus said that laborers (which was an everyday, every-person qualifier) were needed in the harvest fields. That means you and me! For example, part of how I spend my week is as a property manager of an apartment community.  This role allows me to learn people’s names and gives me an idea of how I can pray for them. As I get to know people, and their families and friends come in and out of the office, it becomes a ministry platform in which God has the opportunity to work through me.

Hobbies:

One of my favorite types of personal ministry. I love hobbies because there are as many different hobbies as there are people. Chances are if your hobby includes other people or requires you to cross paths with others, it just might have great personal ministry potential! That’s because it puts you up close to people who need Jesus! And if you have a hobby that is less interactive, it gives you time to pray for others. (Check out this article about the power of prayer here at this link.) Ministry can happen in many ways and in many spaces. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where He might be working at your next book club, model train store, or board game night. 

Education:

It’s imperative that this opportunity for personal ministry is discussed because all too often education, whether it be K-12, trade school, or postsecondary education, is seen as something to be accomplished on the way to our career or ministry goals. Some people think that the real ministry and work begins once I have my electrician’s license, or nursing degree. But the opportunity for ministry is right in front of you! Who in your school, or any other educational organization, needs to encounter God today?

Errands:

Does your car need an oil change? Need to head to the DMV for a license renewal? Grocery shopping, doctors' appointments, or picking up kids from school? Then great! That means your day is ripe with personal ministry opportunities. These mundane and routine parts of the day are often viewed as a necessary evil. I often find myself asking the question: how can I get through this the fastest? But next time, rather than trying to speed through these moments, slow down and ask God to show you where He might be at work in all this. Your most mundane task may be your next personal ministry triumph.  

We are just hitting the tip of the iceberg on your personal ministry potential. Literally every single element and sphere of your life has the potential to be used by God for ministry impact. Your personal ministry makeup is so powerful because it consists of and does a variety of things that other traditional ministry opportunities don’t.  

Your personal ministry

  • Gets you up-close to people who would be too scared to step into a church building.  
  • Gets you access to knowledge of how to specifically pray for others.  
  • Gives you the ability to maximize your time and influence on this earth, by enabling you to turn ordinary events into extraordinary opportunities.  
  • Gives you unique testimonies, stories, and insights that can minister to others. You have encountered God in ways that other people haven’t! In ways your pastor hasn’t. Take the unique moments you’ve had with the almighty Creator and use those for personal ministry impact! 

Take a moment here to have fun discovering your personal ministry by completing our personal ministry inventory. Oftentimes, it’s hard to see the ministry potential right in front of us, and it takes someone asking us unique questions to get the creative juices flowing. I wonder what new, unique personal ministry opportunities you might discover, as you explore Forge’s personal ministry inventory today?