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Serving in Christian Ministry


By Marilyn Pritchard

For years I tried to figure out what my calling was. I prayed, studied Scripture, and listened to sermons about it, but I never got a distinct answer from God. So I volunteered in the church coffee shop, helped in the nursery, taught Sunday school and led Bible studies, all while continuing to ask God what He wanted to do with my life.

After serving in a women’s Bible study for several years, I was approached by the ministry leaders and asked if I would be a coordinator for the particular weekday ministry that I served in. I was conflicted. I knew it was a big job; I had observed all the work the current coordinators put into it. And it was a two-year commitment, at minimum. My children were young at the time, and it would take time away from them and my husband. So I prayed:

“I really want to know your will, God. Please show me what you want me to do.”

This went on for over a week. I needed to give an answer soon but still hadn’t received any leading from God.

One morning, I was praying fervently, asking God for a sign, anything, so I’d know if He wanted me to take on this position. Then I heard in my “mind’s ear,” as clear as anything I’ve heard before, God’s voice saying, “Just be available.”

That was it. Not quite the “yes” or “no” I was hoping for, but a clear answer, nonetheless. What did it mean? To me, it meant that as long as I make myself available to serve Him, I am doing God’s will. Perhaps the “what” isn’t as important as the “why” and the “who for.” I believe God was leaving it up to me whether I would serve Him in a “big” ministry position or continue to serve Him in the many small ways I already had been.

In their Bible study Experiencing God, Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King use John 5:17 as the basis for this advice: Watch to see where God is working and join Him. I’ve used that guidance to determine where He would have me serve Him next. I may not have a calling with a capital C, but I have been called by Christ to serve Him, even in the midst of being a wife and mom, working part-time, taking care of my elderly mother, nurturing friendships, and doing housework.


Serving God isn’t just for those in full-time ministry. Even stay-at-home moms and women working full-time in the marketplace can serve Him. Don’t discount the impact you can have for God’s kingdom! If you’re looking for resources on using your gifts in the service of Christ, check out some of the articles Just Between Us (JBU) has compiled here about serving in Christian ministry. Learn from women like you who balance life, work, family, and volunteer ministry.


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