Many people think God gets the benefit when we serve him. It may be true for human kings, but not with God. When we serve God and his mission, we get the most benefit, not God.
One of the greatest benefits of having a personal ministry in the church is it keeps us under the “umbrella of Grace” even when we struggle with our faith. A sense of ownership and responsibility is a powerful thing. It is not only a good quality to have, but crucial protection when things are tough.
My oldest daughter one time complained that school is boring and asked if she really needs to go. Then, I thought to myself, if school was a completely optional thing for me, I probably skipped a lot of them. But because I knew it was my responsibility, it kept me under it, and I am glad I stayed through it. Likewise, parenting can get tough, parents remain in it even when it is tough because they don’t see it as an option not to do parenting. And they are often glad they kept on when they see the strong family they have created.
In my previous church, I went through a spiritually very dry season as my church went through splits, fights and its aftermath. I had every reason to leave that church, but it was my ministry of leading praise kept me there. But because I stayed, I was able to meet my new pastor and experience new teachings and resources that prepared me well for my full-time ministry.
We don’t know when the moment of change will come. But when we have roles to perform that keep us where we are, it helps us to endure through a difficult season of faith (trust me, it comes to everyone!) and we give ourselves a greater chance to experience the God’s transforming power when it comes.
When Apostle Peter was unsure where he stood with Jesus (after his betrayer), Jesus gave him a job to do, a little too big of a job. However, it was that job that would become a continual reminder that Jesus never stopped loving him, and he has an important place in the Kingdom of God. When we feel truly useful, that’s when we feel truly belong.