During my time serving as the communications director for a particular diocese in the Episcopal Church, I was often overwhelmed at the stories of grand ministry taking place all over the globe. Overwhelmed at the services provided, the gifts offered, the talents put into practice, and the locations that took some missionaries next door and other missionaries across the oceans.
While it was an honor to tell and share these stories, I would often sigh and feel a sort of let-down in my heart because here I was, working behind a computer, raising some boys at home, not participating in these worthy efforts.
It was not until the Director of World Mission, in a personal blog post, wrote about Jesus’ instructions to the disciples before his ascension that I began to think of ministry at home as a comparable act.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
For the first time, my eyes read and my heart heard that witnesses were called to serve in Jerusalem as home, Judea as the state, so to speak, and then to the far reaches of the earth. Ministry, gospel spreading, teaching the love of saving grace of Jesus was to begin at home.
As the Holy Spirit came to the disciples that tremendous first Pentecost day, they were then equipped to stop waiting and to start working. And that they did, converting 3,000 new Christians right away.
Through God’s promises, the Holy Spirit resides in us already, making us well equipped to speak the truth in love and to tell the story of Jesus. What an honor.
What an honor it is to retell the stories of the Bible to my sons at bedtime. To walk them through prayers and to help them grow in their prayers as they get a little bit older. To take every opportunity out in nature to talk about God’s creation. And to help them recognize that each person their eyes see is a brother or sister in Christ and should be treated as such.
It starts with Sunday school and Vacation Bible School and emphasizing our faith at home. And one day, when their ages permit, it stretches to serving our local community by cleaning up, helping to build homes, and feeding the hungry.
And who knows what type of ministry the fire of the Spirit will kindle in my sons’ hearts and spark into action. Perhaps they will reach the ends of the earth, and someone will tell the story of their compassionate outreach. Or perhaps they will find a place at the local nursing home or the food pantry and use their God-given abilities to keep serving right where they are. That’s worthy of a story, too.
Our actions – near or far – are worthy, fueled by the fire of the Spirit and growing Christians and even more witnesses.