Snow-capped mountains, wild horses, trout-fishing, and people who needed Jesus are my first memories of being a ministry kid in Montana. To my dad, every conversation was an opportunity to build a bridge: this often involved a hunting trip where he could bring home a moose, bear, or elk. It was through the conversations on these trips that my dad shared his faith (and kept our freezer full).
A ministry kid’s life– at least, how I experienced it — often includes tight finances and unusually high expectations of others. For me, it was a blessing because of my parents’ simple commitment to follow Christ’s plan for their lives. Both of my parents have given years in Christian service, including being missionaries to Blackfeet Indians, working in churches, and working in Christian schools. From them, I observed and learned a commitment to let God direct my life and an understanding that worship expands beyond praise songs or a church sermon. It is found in every aspect of our lives.
Here are the lessons that stand out to me from my memories of growing up as a ministry kid.
Worship with talents
Teaching, office work, sales, and public speaking are just a few of the skills that my parents let God use. They instilled in me that the point was doing your best and trusting God for the rest. Whatever gift you are given is for a reason and they are meant to be used for the kingdom. For me, that means teaching, writing, and music. The vision and burdens He has given me are His alone to control, but as in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:23), the goal is to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Worship in surrender
One of the ways I saw fruit in my parents’ ministry was their focus on Christ’s plan for their lives and the lives of those they loved and counseled. As in Galatians 2:20, they showed “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” They shared openly that following the direction of the Holy Spirit and Scripture was of most importance in living a Christ-centered life. They showed me how to walk through a wilderness even when you were not sure what is ahead.
I have spent the last three years doing just that, as I waited for God to lead me to a job that really fits His plan for me. And now, He has provided a job that is clearly the next right step. I am bearing the fruit of my parents’ teaching.
Worship in living
In everything, my parents focused on what God wanted to accomplish through them, one day at a time. The desire to live the gospel meant that each day was an opportunity to worship, whether it was parenting my brothers and me, giving their best at their job, or singing praise songs in the quiet times at home.
Worship simply means living in surrender with the talents that God has given us. With that as our focus, God is able to write our story in a way that bears fruit, fulfills us, and points others to the One whom we worship.
Photo Credit: JenniMarie Photography