It's easy to become a “savior” in orphan ministry...
When a stranger throws a premature infant at you; expecting you to feed, care for, and bring it back to life. Or when a failure to thrive infant lies dead-like in your arms, and all eyes look to you for answers.
Doctor's appointments, therapy, social worker, guardian ad leitem and counselor meetings. It doesn't take long before life becomes a sort of, a Burmuta Triangle seemingly swirling around you, as your thrown into the ocean of it all.
Maybe you don't save orphans, but you can relate; your children expect dinner and instruction, your parents demand perfection, or your ministry starts leaning on you too much, now your afraid to fail them.
Can't we all, at one time or another, easily cycle from Jesus-centered living to a self-focused performance mentality that places us and our works at the center of it all?
Even scripture talks about how easy it can be to misplace worship.
Remember the golden calf, the tower of Babel, the crippled man seeking Peter and his resources to heal him?
Yet, the Bible reminds us, even as idols rise and we can find it easy to resurrect a monument to ourselves, Christ “got low” and took the place of humble servititude, giving Himself as an example of what it means to put God at the center of it all.
And could it be that long-term ministry that glorifies God most is not found in titles, presentations, or the amount of people we have on Facebook...but in stepping back, intentionally pointing Him out, letting our ministry circle around His great name, not ours.
Wasn't it Paul who said:
And yet, the earth spins, turning with a force that almost subconsciously makes carnal humans be like magnets to praise.
And while ministries rise and fruit starts to dangle, people can run for awhile on the fumes of their own inspiration and dreams...
But in time, all good things not centered around Him will crumble when the storms come.
Scripture says time will test all things, the day will bring all things to light, all our works will eventually be tested with fire. Only that which has its foundation built on Him will ever truly stand. (1 Cor 3:11)
Thankfully, Scripture encourages:
In starting orphan ministry nearly a decade ago, it was easy to want to think, “I am the savior of these five pound infants lying helplessly in my hands”.
But as time has tested, the truth of the work of our hands has revealed; it is not these children, but us who are the needy, broken, and helpless ones, left dependent in His hands.
Missional living is all about centering our lives and ministry around Him. And, there is beauty and long-term fruit found in the learning that...
Apart from Him, we truly can...do nothing.
Pssst.... this post is apart of the 5th Annual Not About Me November Series. Check the rest of the posts out here.
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
If you'd like to read more from this contributor, type her name in the search box on the top right.
Sharing this over at these awesome blogs.