Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Administer vs. Minister
Today I learned something about myself. I probably already had some awareness of it, but now that it is labeled I think I will find it easier to work on. I learned that I am much better at administering the gospel -- managing, planning, overseeing -- than I am in ministering the gospel.
Now I don't feel bad about this; I figure everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. And I know I am not terrible at ministering--just not as good as I am at administering. But that does not mean that there is not room for improvement. I believe that with the Lord's help weak things can definitely be "made strong."
Ministering (the kind I am talking about) means "to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities" and "to contribute, as to comfort or happiness" (thanks, Dictionary.com). In other words, it means taking time to really help someone beyond the checklist of items to accomplish.
I remember once on my mission on a cold day my companion and I stopped by a member's home to get warm. I was chilled through to the bone and so glad to find the Baldock's were home and willing to welcome us inside. Bill Baldock was a sealer at the temple and as wry as those Englishmen come. A true delight to be around. His sweet wife, Jessie, was also a temple worker and that particular day was down with a bad backache. We visited for a bit and I began to think it was time for us to head back out to do more tracting, but my companion did not seem ready to leave.
Brother Baldock soon asked if we would mind staying with his wife so he could run a few errands. We agreed to do so and broke out the Scrabble board to pass the time with Sister Baldock while he was gone. It was a fun few hours we spent with Sister Baldock that afternoon, during which I forged a friendship I value to this day. We did not know it ahead of time, but they needed our help--our ministering.
Although I have sometimes looked back and felt guilty about staying to play Scrabble instead of knocking doors, I can now recognize it was the ministering we accomplished that day that really blessed lives (mine and the Baldocks). I hope I can better learn to recognize opportunities to minister as they pass by me in the future.
Scripture of the Day: 2 Timothy 4:2