We’ve picked up several ministry “hats” lately, pilule of which we are super excited.  After nine months of what one pastor called our gestational period, we are finding ourselves truly defining and developing our roles in youth and children’s ministry.  I celebrate these steps because a sense of purpose comes along with them – knowing where we stand and what our duties are. Everything is defined.  I know what I need to plan, who I need to talk to, what should be on my to-do list, etc.  These are the markings of effective ministries in the making…or so I thought.

This week, my eyes were opened to a different reality.  I had kept myself running under the idea that if I didn’t have a defined job description, I wasn’t being effective.  However, I realized we have been very active in ministry in a different way.  People have been watching us.  People have been watching how we communicate and interact as a family.  Last night, a lady we’ve recently met came to us and told us that she was encouraged by the unity we could bring to the group we were working with because she’s seen how our family interacts and cares for one another.  I did not even know she was aware of our existence. I realized that although we hadn’t been in an official position, we were already being observed and evaluated when we thought no one was looking at us.
In a separate setting, at the teen pregnancy center, Corey came with me one day to help since we had to go straight to another meeting afterwards.  Some of the girls peeked in and giggled about him being there, but this week as we sat chatting about life and family, they made comments about how sweet Corey was with the babies, how he was happy, relaxed and loving.  These girls who come from abandonment, drug addiction, abuse, prostitution, of which many have not had positive male role models in their lives, just a couple hours of seeing Corey interact with their babies left them impressed and asking me lots of questions about marriage and fathers.
People are watching, whether we’re aware or not.  We were with a few church leaders the other day driving down the street when we passed two different cars going down the highway with other church members in them.  We laughed at how they didn’t know their pastors were watching them and talked about how gossip can spark out of those kinds of observations.  We  wondered how many times people had seen us driving (and probably singing at the top of my lungs) when we were unaware.
I know this is a no-brainer.  We know we’re supposed to be walking examples of Jesus Christ.  We often pray as a family for God to help us be a good example to everyone we meet, but I think it’s easy to forget that in the middle of a rush, when you’re tired and don’t feel like dealing with people or when unexpected adversity creeps in.  People see us whether or not we realize it.  How we handle everything life throws our way speaks volumes of who we are and how much we truly believe what we say we believe.  Our lives – mine and yours – are examples and that role is probably our most effective ministry of all.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. Titus 2:7


~Tona