So what am I talking about? Profession or Lifestyle.
I’m talking about the use of the word “minister” or “ministry” in our everyday vernacular and how it’s meaning gets pigeon-holed into a “profession” rather than as a lifestyle most women pursue throughout our lifetimes – never realizing it as such!
In fact, the word is usually spelled “Minister” denoting a person who “pastors” a congregation and/or leads a worship service. And “Ministry” is what they do – as a “profession”. See what I mean?
Dictionary.com says this about the meaning of the word as a verb without an object: to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities, i.e. to minister to the needs of the hungry. To contribute, as to comfort or happiness. Now that sounds like “ministry” to me. And it says nothing about being a pastor or leader of a religious community or church!
I think it’s time we took the word out of the closet and used it in the broadest sense of the word. Because I believe we are asked to minister to others using our primary motivational gift and the natural talents, abilities and skills as well as the knowledge and wisdom gained over the years.
Years ago, my spiritual director told me at some point in my spiritual growth, the Lord would tell me my “ministry”. Well, being the impetuous woman I was in those days; I immediately asked PAPA to tell me “right then”. He obliged and I learned it is to write, teach and pray! I had a natural propensity for writing creatively and I’m a natural teacher at heart. And I learned to engage in conversation with PAPA over the years in ways that dropped the “thees and thous” (for which I am deeply grateful I might add).
But that’s me. And this is not the Sunday Series on Wednesday either; so let me move to more temporal thoughts on ‘ministry’.
I believe that ministry and ministering is a “lifestyle“. Yes, it’s a profession but that’s when the word is capital “M”. I also believe that when we meet the needs of others – whether physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual, we are ‘ministering’. Let me give some examples:
1. If a woman with a need for an insurance policy of any type, comes to another who represents an insurance company of high repute and asks for information, knowledge and wisdom – she’s seeking to be ministered to by the agent at hand. When the agent at hand provides information, knowledge and her wisdom; then she’s ‘ministering’ to the needs of the other.
2. When preparing for the wedding of a close relative, I want to give the bride a unique piece of jewelry she’ll treasure forever. I’ll look for a jewelry-maker with the skill to make distinct pieces tailor-made to the woman receiving my gift. I have a need; the artisan has the skill and inclination to meet my need. She is in the service of ministering to me.
I could site other examples i.e. doctor, attorney, therapist, counselor, teacher, etc. But even here we think of these as “professions” rather than a lifestyle of ‘ministering’ to the needs of others.
Finally it is my belief that when we are women in business – especially a small business driven by our passion and destiny-design, we ought consider ourselves as ‘ministers’ to the needs of others and pursing the ministry to which we are uniquely “called“. And we ought consider it a ‘lifestyle’ we choose to pursue.
Here’s the kicker in my mind: When we conduct our business with the idea of meeting the needs of those who come to us, or to those we seek to do business with – then we do it in the understanding of ministering‘. And when it becomes our lifestyle; then we are in ‘ministry’.
When we reach that point; the outcome is bound to be more than just pleasant for us – as well as those we ‘serve‘!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Neighborhood Boutiques GRAND OPENING Coming Soon!
Empowering Women to Thrive
JOIN US HERE:
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at LinkedIn
Neighborhood Boutiques at Google+