Where does ministry happen? Anywhere there are people is one answer. If you want to go a bit broader, you could argue anywhere there is creation.
Yesterday ministry happened in a CVS parking lot with two homeless men – a father and son. These are two guys who fell between the cracks of society. They aren’t long-term homeless. They are temporary homeless. The father recently obtained a job and he hopes to be able to move himself and his son into an apartment soon. Yesterday they came across some car trouble – the alternator died, leaving them stranded.
Because our congregation has started building a relationship with these two guys, they reached out to us. A few texts back and forth with some of our folks and I ended up going over to the CVS parking lot to see what they needed. After a short ride over to the auto parts store to get new parts with the father, we were back to their car – their temporary home. The father made the fixes that needed to be made in no time and he jumped the car to get it started.
But here’s the beauty of ministry – it’s not one directional, as in from me (supposedly whole) to them (supposed broken). It’s two directional and possibly more. That’s because I received ministry from them as well. In the car ride over to get the parts that were needed, the father shared his faith with me and how God has blessed him and his son, how his life has changed over the years and allowed him to let go of material things. This was a story I needed to hear. Yes, materially I am better off than these two. But I, like everyone else, am broken in other ways and need ministry too.
The father’s story was healing for me to hear. It was a story of Good News. It was a story of hope and forward movement. It was a story of trust in God, even when life is difficult and unfair. It was a story of redemption and resurrection.
I look forward to the next encounter with this father and son. I look forward to how ministry will happen – both for them, and for me.