" But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Therefore tell her to help me' and Jesus answered and said to her 'Martha , Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her.'" - Luke 10:40-42
I love to serve. God has given me that love for serving, I'll pretty much serve anywhere I'm needed. There's something about serving God that always makes me happy. It's an amazing opportunity to learn new things, interact with different people, and just get your hands dirty for the kingdom of God, not that God's work is dirty... it's quite the opposite actually. However sometimes we can become so busy running around church serving in this ministry, or that ministry, that we can lose sight of what we are really at church for .
When you first begin serving it's a joy! You feel like you are doing your part for the church, like God is putting the gifts He gave you to good use, and that your finally doing some positive work for His kingdom. It's so fresh, and exciting the first few times you serve, you love it so much that you decide that you have the time and the energy to serve in another area of the church, maybe the parking ministry or the new believers. Pretty soon you've signed up for about every single ministry your church offers. While serving, and getting plugged into your church are all very important parts of our christian walk, they are not the most important parts, they in many cases can cause us to loose focus on our original purpose of being there.
I'm talking out of experience when I say that serving, while it can be one of the greatest fulfillment you'll have, can also be one of the biggest distractions. It's such a potent force because you don't even realize your being distracted in the first place. You"re serving God, helping His kingdom, how can that be a bad thing? Well it becomes a negative thing when you spend all your time serving and not enough time being fed, or growing. It starts off innocently enough, you didn't sit in service one weekend because the parking ministry was understaffed and they really needed you, you convince yourself that since your an usher you can sit in service, and serve all at the same time ,two for the price of one, you've already served twice this week, but you want to show the pastors and elders that you are really reliable, and are a hard worker so that they make you an over seer, who cares if I miss one or two services, I'm doing it for the good of God's kingdom!
The definition of Ministry is something that serves as an agency, instrument, or means. Ministry is a way for God to use us as His instruments, as a means for Him to communicate to people. I don't know why He chooses to do this, but being the loving, merciful, and beautiful God that He is, He allows us to be a part of His works. Now correct me if I am mistaken but shouldn't we, as His instruments, and as the means through which He chooses to spread His ,at least have some sort of fundamental understanding of what exactly that message is? How are we suppose to do that if we are too busy serving. It's like acquiring a guitar and just starting to play it without first having taken lessons, or at least reading the instruction manual ( I'm actually not sure if guitars have instruction manuals or not, they probably don't, but it's the first thing that same to my mind...sorry) How are we suppose to serve correctly, represent God correctly, if we don't even have the slightest idea of what He's all about? Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to discourage anyone from serving , not at all, I simply want to warn those out there who might love it as much as I do. Don't lose sight of your First love simply because He has chosen to bless you. Don't be so busy running around serving that when Jesus starts to teach you forget to drop what you are doing and listen.
My prayer for everyone out there who serves is this, yes enjoy every minute of it, ministry is a gift from God, it is meant to be enjoyed, and to be done with a willing and faithful heart, but never forget the One who gave you the precious Gift in the first place. " Every good and perfect gift is from above"-James 1:17. Never become so obsessed with the gift that you forget the Giver.