Following on from some of my thoughts from yesterday about standing still and being present, I began to reflect on how we do this in the whole of our ministry. What should be my aim or ambition in my role as a priest. We read in Matthew 10:9-15 that the disciples were to eat and drink with people and share the story of Jesus. More than this they were to find a worthy person and stay at their house until they left that town, I think this idea of rooting themselves in the community not flitting about from house to house comparing hospitality means that they could concentrate on the task at hand.
One of the problems with the professionalisation of ministry is the pressure to be able to measure your work. The kind of work that the disciples were doing just staying in peoples homes, sharing the Good News and then leaving for another place may have been hard to measure. Some folk may have reacted positively, immediately they heard about Jesus and would have been able to be counted others may have taken longer to consider things and may have decided that Jesus was the Messiah long after the disciples had left. This desire to measure things can lead us to be ambitious and successful but in fact ambition is only mentioned 3 times in the Bible.
It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.
2 Corinthians 5:9
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
1 Thessalonians 4:11
and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
So these should be my aims to tell the story of Jesus where it hasn’t been heard before, to please God no matter where I am and to lead a quiet life. This doesn’t seem like a hard thing to strive for, but in practice if we can live like this, our lives will have an amazing impact for God in our communities.