Making Time For Ministry

In January I’m beginning a sermon series on the book of Mark, so I have been spending a ton of time reading through the second gospel in recent weeks. One word out of Mark’s gospel continues to jump off the page: immediately.

In the ESV the word immediately occurs 36 times in 35 verses. I read through book of Mark and am out of breath by the time I arrive at the end. Jesus is busy. He’s not just going places or doing things, he is doing them immediately. He’s intentional and he’s in a hurry. Jesus is not wasting any time. And yet, there is one other thing that jumps out. In the midst of his busyness, Jesus seems to always make time for individual ministry.

The busyness of his “ministry” did not distract him from the people to whom he had been called. He was teaching in the synagogue, but had time to perform an exorcism. He went to eat with Simon and Andrew and healed Simon’s mother-in-law (I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere) and then healed people as they came to the house in the dark.  The needs became so great that Jesus “could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.”

An old joke among pastors is that ministry would be easy if it weren’t for the people. The truth is harsher though, because without the people there would be no ministry.

Time management is a constant struggle in my life, but I have to remember that as I work to manage my time efficiently, some of my greatest ministry will take place in unplanned and unexpected encounters. Much of my ministry will take place in the margins.

Interruptions do not appear to have hindered Jesus’ ministry, they were a part of his ministry. They are a part of your ministry too.