Friday, June 1, 2018

Ministering - Matthew 20:26-28

We are beginning a new era of ministering and many of us are asking questions like, "What does that mean to me?" or "What am I supposed to do?"  As we re-evaluate our individual ministering efforts we learn that more appropriate questions might be, "What challenges do my neighbors have? How are they feeling? What are they struggling with? Is it possible for us to shift our focus from what should "I" be doing, to a what "they" need? 

In the April General Conference, President Nelson said: "A hallmark of the Lord’s true and living Church will always be an organized, directed effort to minister to individual children of God and their families. Because it is His Church, we as His servants will minister to the one, just as He did. We will minister in His name, with His power and authority, and with His loving-kindness." (Russell M Nelson, "Ministering with the Power and Authority of God", April 2018 LDS General Conference)

What does it mean to minister as the Savior did? Perhaps the verses in Matthew 20:26-28 will help us.   

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-28) 

This mental shift from counting visits to making our service count will help us come to know how we can help meet the needs of others.  In the April General Conference Sister Jean B. Bingham said:  

"Sometimes we think we have to do something grand and heroic to “count” as serving our neighbors. Yet simple acts of service can have profound effects on others—as well as on ourselves. What did the Savior do? Through His supernal gifts of the Atonement and Resurrection—which we celebrate on this beautiful Easter Sunday—“none other has had so profound an influence [on] all who have lived and who will yet live upon the earth.” But He also smiled at, talked with, walked with, listened to, made time for, encouraged, taught, fed, and forgave. He served family and friends, neighbors and strangers alike, and He invited acquaintances and loved ones to enjoy the rich blessings of His gospel. Those “simple” acts of service and love provide a template for our ministering today. (Jean B. Bingham, "Ministering as the Savior Does", April 2018 LDS General Conference)

May we each go forward and minister with greater love, compassion, and service. May we be prepared to respond to the inspiration it leads to faith-filled actions.