Does your mission field look different than you imagined? Maybe you thought you would be sharing the gospel on the other side of the world, or on the front lines advocating for abused children. Instead, you find yourself so caught up with your daily tasks that you barely have time to utter a prayer. I have a friend that does some fantastic things for the kingdom: from planning women’s retreats, to collecting bras for the homeless, to leading a team to Belize. I, on the other hand, well, I umm…volunteered for VBS. That’s something, right? Have you ever looked around and thought, “If only I could do that. Then, I would really be making a difference”?
Up until a few months ago, I was working full time in children’s ministry, and then my husband’s job brought us to Texas. How’s that for a curve ball? I was in the trenches every day planning and preparing children’s programming, leading volunteers, and praying for their families. Now, my days are filled with laundry, house cleaning, and carpool. Most days, I feel incredibly fortunate to stay home and wrangle the children, but there are other overwhelming days when I begin to wonder…is this it? My work at the church seemed more tangible–I could check off lists and see my hard work in action. At home, the laundry keeps piling up, and the bellies need fed often. I don’t have time to finish a thought, let alone do ministry. I felt like a fish out of water as I maneuvered through my days waiting for the break in my schedule to make a difference. It wasn’t until last week during my quiet time with God that I began to understand my purpose at this time.
Just as we have different seasons in life, we have different seasons in ministry. Sometimes we may be on the front lines leading teams around the world, serving droves of people through a food drive, or leading a group of kids at church. Other times, we are called to support those on the front lines and take care of our families and ourselves. It’s less palpable, but equally important. We are called to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19), but often, I think we forget about the disciples in our own homes who are our children and husbands. “Impress them upon your children” Deut. 6, “Wives submit to your husbands” Col.3–a wise friend once told me that the most important mission field is the one under your own roof. Does this mean that I stay home and tend to the family and ignore the rest of the world? Nope, I’m not getting off that easy! It just means that this is my first priority. Instead of heading downtown to bring new panties to the homeless, I mailed a package to my friend in charge of the event. I may not be able to attend the Women’s Beach Retreat, but I can certainly help get the word out! You may be reading this thinking,” I’m single and I don’t have any children.” Is it possible God wants you to focus on yourself and your relationship with Him? John 15 talks about remaining in God and Philippians 4 says whatever things are good, pure, true, praiseworthy, meditate on these things. Make time each day for God’s word and allow time for God to respond.
The question still stands: am I still serving? You bet. We each serve in different capacities in different times of our lives. It may be that you are taking care of an elderly neighbor, helping a mom whose husband is deployed, or supporting your family and helping them find their calling. All of these things matter, and no one thing is more important than the other. The next time you find yourself longing to make a difference, take a step back and look around you. You are making a bigger impact than you think!