by Judi Chow
As a missionary, I often move from place to place which means I have to look for a “home” church no matter where and how long I settle in one place. It is one of those things most Christians might take for granted, especially those who grow up in church and find no reason to move. Moving a household can be stressful, but moving a spiritual home is devastating. Actually you are not moving anything except yourself, your emotional tie, and your spiritual support. Moving the unseen is much more difficult than moving the seen.
We are born into a family, a home chosen for us by God. What about a spiritual home? Do we get to choose the church we call “home”? Most people I know choose a church based on certain criteria such as its location, size, denomination, or types of ministries that church offers. I know a guy who moved to another church because he couldn’t find any peers there. Most people seem to have a choice except maybe pastors and missionaries. Pastors and missionaries are called to a church to serve and those pioneers have to plant their own church with their hands, their feet, and their lives. We call this ministry.
Recently a friend asked me whether or not I am serving at my newly-adopted spiritual home. My immediate response was “No, since I am not ‘doing’ anything there except attending worship services.” My most “doing” for the last couple of months has been trying to get to know a few people among hundreds. That question got me thinking hard on the meaning of ministry. I browse church websites to see what type of ministries they have. One particular church has ministries galore, from children to campuses to careers to couples, from singles to single parents to seniors to the sexually abused, to name just a few. I can imagine the many different activities and programs cater around different target groups depending on the felt needs. I get tired just thinking about it, but I can also sense the energy and excitement of the people who find their sense of belonging in those ministry groups.
Ministry means, “to attend upon someone” in Greek; it is an act of service to the body of Christ for the glory of God. Someone said ministry is the outpouring of one’s life. Ministry should not be something you just do, but you do it with your heart because of who you are. It is more important how you do ministry than where or what you do in ministry. After a second thought, I answered my friend with a “yes” to ministering at my new “home” church. Doing what? I’ll tell you in person!