“The value of a life is always measured by how much of it is given away.” – Andy Stanley
Any preaching ministry involves giving. You give of yourself in preparation. You give of yourself in delivery. And often you feel spent when you are done. But the relationship between visible ministry and giving is a complex one.
Public ministry is certainly demanding, but it can also come with its own rewards. People see you. People may respect and appreciate you. People may even pay you. Once there is reimbursement in the equation, then the giving nature of ministry can become murky.
This is why I think Andy Stanley’s quote is so important for those of us who are involved in visible ministries – whether that is preaching, or teaching, or leadership, etc.
What are you giving in secret?
Please don’t comment and answer that question!
Here are some quick thoughts to ponder:
1. If all your giving in ministry is public, then your giving is not secret. There is something about giving of ourselves without attention that is so important.
2. If all your giving in ministry is public, then your giving is being rewarded. There is something about rewarded giving that somehow undermines the reality of the giving.
3. Even if you ministry is public, there is plenty you could give that is not. Obviously there is financial giving, but there is a lot more too. What about mentoring other preachers and leaders? What about leveraging your contacts and resources for the sake of others in ministry? What about strategizing together with others about their ministry? What about dreaming together with an individual and believing in them as they launch something you aren’t associated with? What about encouraging folks by private message, personal phone calls, etc.? What about praying – and not just for your own ministry and its multiplication?
The value of your life is not measured by the profile you achieve in ministry, but by the reality of how much of it is given away.
2 thoughts on “What Are You Giving Away?”
This is related to the question of why there are so many of us on WordPress and similar social media platforms – a question I’ve been asking myself since shorty after I started a blog. What is my motivation for adding my opinion to the mix? Is it pure in its intentions? Am I attempting to give value to my life by achieving that ministry profile you mentioned? Do I crave the validation given by the “likes” and comments received?
Truly, I’ve learned more than I’ve taught, which is how I currently view my status as a blogger – I’m a student of those I follow. I do want to give, but I’ll need to make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons, and additionally, that I’m only giving through the Spirit and not the flesh. Thought-provoking article.
Thanks Dave, that is a really insightful comment. It is true that social media can be genuine generosity, but also self-serving and stoking the fires of our own egos. I suppose it is hard to give secretly online, but at least it is giving away! Thanks for interacting with the site, I appreciate it. Peter