Ministry Flows From Intimacy

by Peter Swann

Ministry flows from intimacy. It is not done in a vacuum, operating out of our own strength, intuition, and determination. Ministry is our Lord’s, done for His glory, honor, and fame. Ministry flows from intimacy with Him. Only then are we renewed, changed, and inspired. It is His presence that transforms us, making us agents of transformation in others.

The challenge in all this is that we don’t typically think this way. Our attention is on acquiring knowledge and refining skills. We as Westerners tend to be task-oriented and production-focused. We have laser-like vision on one main thing: how much we can get done each day.

I’m so struck by how this isn’t modeled in my kids. Allison, Timothy and Titus don’t care much for what they accomplish in a day. They just judge it by how much time we had together. It’s the time playing together, learning together, or praying together that they cherish. It’s not what they did, it’s who they did it with. And our value as parents is the same, for only in time with our kids can we pour into them well. In our presence they are renewed, changed, and inspired. In our presence they are transformed, preparing them to be agents of transformation in others.

How humbling it is that our role as parents reflects our Heavenly Father’s role with us. Yet I pray our kids learn that deeply, for the task-oriented world is sure to pull at them. Production will call, buoyed by a world judging success by achievements. But without time with Him, they will run on empty, get off track, and live out only a secular Christianity. And they, like us, are not made for that. We’re created in the image of our Father, saved by His grace and called to journey with Him.

Ministry flows from intimacy, and only through our intimacy with Him will we, and our world, be most powerfully changed.