All Ministry, All the Time

From Paul Tripp Ministries

We’re spending the beginning of this New Year focusing on a resolution—or a renewed commitment—for 2024: shining bright as the light of the world and sharing the gospel in your neighborhood (see Matthew 5:14-16 and Matthew 28:18-20).

So, how can we let our light shine brightest before others in 2024? I want to propose three mentality shifts that can help us.

The first is what I call the total involvement mentality: all of God’s people doing ministry all the time.

“Let your light shine” and the Great Commission are not just directives for pastors of outreach, parachurch ministry leaders, college campus workers, or full-time foreign missionaries.

This is the life calling for everyone who calls Jesus Lord and Savior.

Does God set people apart for ministry? Of course he does! But their role is not just to do ministry, but to mobilize, train, and equip all of God’s people for the great honor and privilege of publishing his amazing grace wherever they are.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12, emphasis mine).

There’s a second aspect to this “total involvement mentality” that we need to have if we want to shine bright: every dimension of life is a forum for gospel ministry.

How you treat your spouse is an opportunity to share the gospel. How you raise your kids is a forum for evangelism. How you do tasks and maintenance around the house or yard—and offering to serve your neighbor at the same time, for example—is a chance to put the sacrificial life of Christ on display.

Of course, where you work (and how you work and how you treat your co-workers) is an opportunity for gospel ministry. So is where you shop and how you shop. So is the gym, your children’s sports league, and anywhere else that you go where God has uniquely placed you.

Finally, we need a third “all ministry, all the time” mentality: moments of ministry are rarely scheduled.

Often, we wrongly think of ministry as a “step in, step out” routine. That is, we have our little private lives that belong to us, and we step out of our lives into scheduled moments of ministry and then step back into our lives after those ministry initiatives are over.

The fact is that since we have been bought with the blood of Jesus, our lives don’t belong to us anymore (1 Corinthians 6:19). They are his possession for his use. This means that our life is ministry, and ministry is our life. There is no actual separation between life and ministry.

I don’t know about you, but I am left feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Overwhelmed at the magnitude of the calling and discouraged that I have fallen short of this high calling.

First, don’t run from the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. We have fallen short, and we can do better. If, like me, your heart is prone to being captured by the glories of the created world, you will invest your time, money, and energy chasing treasures and missing ministry opportunities.

I think many believers live this way. Yes, we are God’s children. Yes, we have been redeemed by his blood and accepted by his grace. But for many of us, ministry, evangelism, and gospel outreach is an afterthought that doesn’t control our daily lives.

Second, don’t be paralyzed by guilt and regret. No, run to your Redeemer. Confess what has ruled your heart and cry out for his forgiving, delivering, and enabling grace.

Lastly, if you feel overwhelmed and underqualified … it’s because you are! God hasn’t called you to shine bright and share the gospel because you are able. The entire narrative of redemption is how God meets weak and failing people with his powerful grace.

God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need. He never sends you without going with you.

God has called you to ministry in your neighborhood, and he has given you everything you need for this calling.

The One who called you to this task of eternal significance is with you, and because he is, you have reason to get up morning after morning and do ministry all over again, all the time, in every dimension of life.

A Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to see my life as a living sacrifice to you. Open my spiritual eyes to the people and circumstances around me that I might be your witness wherever I go and whatever I do. Help me to see my life’s ministry (regardless of what you’ve called me to) as a privilege and not a burden. Please give me the grace I need to remove the idols that have previously ruled my heart and would you give me what I need in the moment it is necessary to be a light to those around me? For your glory and my good, amen.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Discussion Prompt for Children

What do you think of when you hear the word “ministry”? What do you think your role is in “ministry”?

Reflection Questions

1. When you see the call to a total involvement mentality of doing ministry all the time as a follower of Christ, what is your knee-jerk reaction? How does it make you feel? What is your visceral reaction to a call like this? Does it seem more like a “half to” than a “get to” for you? If so, why do you think that might be? What kinds of specific prayers might you communicate to God to help you if this call to doing ministry all the time makes you respond negatively?

2. In what ways have you neglected to view every dimension of your life as an opportunity for gospel ministry? How might the way you treat your spouse and raise your kids be a form of evangelism? In what ways are you sharing the gospel when you spend your money, share your opinion with others, and selectively invest your time? Where has God specifically placed you to be his representative in the world?

3. In what ways have you separated and perhaps drawn a line between “regular life” and ministry? In what areas are life and ministry one in the same for you? In what ways are they completely isolated from one another?

4. After these questions, are you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged? In what ways has ministry, evangelism, and gospel outreach been an afterthought that doesn’t control your daily life? Do you feel paralyzed by guilt and regret right now? How might you run toward Holy Spirit conviction and redemption in this moment? Take some time right now to confess what has previously ruled your heart and cry out for God’s forgiving, delivering, and enabling grace. Admit to him that you are overwhelmed and underqualified. Ask him to give you what you need in the moment it is necessary to be a light in every dimension of your life.

All Ministry, All the Time

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

Share This