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A Driving Ministry

by Tim O'Hearn

There are many and various tools for ministry. The tools I use are keyboards (computer and MIDI). I know a woman (OK, she’s my wife, but don’t tell her I wrote about her because I don’t have her permission to embarrass her) who uses a different tool for ministry.

Her tool is (currently) blue, although it has been red, white, or green. It has five wheels (one for steering) and seats for up to seven people. Sometimes I get to drive it. When it is used for her ministry, most often she drives. The tool of her ministry is our family car (or van).

Driving has been her ministry for many years. When we were in San Diego there was a woman who attended the assembly where we worshipped. When her husband was deployed away from home this woman avoided getting out of the house at all. Her agoraphobia made it difficult to shop (before online shopping) and she would stop worshipping with the church. My wife’s number one rule while the military spouse is deployed is, “You have to get out of the house.” So she made it her ministry to make sure that this woman got out, at least to join us for the Sunday assembly. It did not matter that it added several miles to our Sunday drive. So what if we had to leave half an hour earlier than otherwise. We had a car, and could get this woman out of the house. The woman appreciated it, but it would not have mattered had she not.

We have a neighbor who does not drive. Without any family close by, getting around could be difficult for this person. Instead, every Monday she has a ride to the grocery store, lunch, and any other shopping she needs to do. When she cannot get a Monday appointment, my wife gets the car on the day she can get, so she has a ride. I know that this neighbor is now a subscriber to Minutes With Messiah. I don’t know whether they have talked about religion at all beyond that. It really doesn’t matter what they talk about. What matters is that someone knows that a Christian is ready and willing to give of her time for someone else.

We often think of ministry as teaching. Certainly teaching is a ministry. Knocking on doors to set up Bible studies is a ministry. But so is knocking on doors and offering to cut the grass or hang the storm windows. Ministry is service. There are many ways we may serve others, but the greatest of these is love. “By this shall all know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) Jesus says that judgement is not based on doctrinal purity, but on ministry.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt 25:34-40)