Where could I serve?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by StefanM, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I've been pondering this question because I know I want to get more involved now that I'm more stable.

    To start, I have bipolar disorder, and stress can easily trigger episodes for me. Suffice it to say, serving in children's ministry from elementary school downward would likely just cause more problems than my service would help because children stress me greatly. I'm not really a "youth" kind of person, but I'm not completely opposed, as long as God leads.

    For a variety of reasons, I'm disqualified from ministry, so anything on pastoral staff or in the deacon body is off-limits. I also don't meet the standards for Sunday School teachers, either. I'm not actively involved in the disqualifying behavior, but, IMO, my past behavior and my current illness make me unfit to be in that level of responsibility.

    I know I have eliminated several options, but I am open to serving in an assistant capacity, a background role, or something similar.

    What would you suggest that I check out?
     
  2. TCassidy

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    What ministry gifts have you identified in yourself?
     
  3. StefanM

    StefanM
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    If you mean spiritual gifts, excluding those for which I am no longer qualified to use, I would say mercy is my main gift, by far. Service would also be included.

    I want to improve my evangelistic obedience, but I know that I don't have a spiritual gift in that area. I just need to be more obedient to God's commands.

    If you have something else in mind, I will probably need some clarification.

    P.S. In reference to my first sentence, I was mostly referring to the gift of teaching. I've served in ministry before, and I always felt I could preach with accuracy, conviction, and clarity. It was similar when I led Bible studies. But since my "fall" and onset of bipolar disorder, it feels as if God has at least made the gift dormant in public areas for qualification reasons. I can use it at home, though, and I do contribute in Sunday School as a participant. But it's far from what I used to be. Some of that may be the disorder's effect on my brain, though.
     
  4. HankD

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    Something we can all do and that I have recommended to those in a similar situation as yours:

    Have a weekly prayer list of names and items from your local church: The sick, the hospitalized, the elderly, bed ridden, house ridden, church needs, missionary needs, needs, needs, on and on and on...

    Something of which we have precious little, something we call "Prayer Warriors".
    They are only seen of God, perhaps that's why its not so popular.

    If you aren't used to protracted prayer it's OK because slowly your prayer time will get longer and longer.

    HankD
     
  5. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I'm trying to increase my prayer time, so I don't mind prayer. What I want to do, however, is to directly help people. I'd love to pray WITH someone in addition to praying FOR someone.

    My general temperament is that of a counselor (I even did a full-time residency in a hospital as a junior chaplain for a semester after college). As I've become more aware of my own inadequacies and failures, I'd love to be able to help other fellow-strugglers (to borrow a term from somewhere), if only by my presence.

    I do appreciate your suggestion, though. I think it's a good one that I might want to build on.
     
  6. HankD

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    The more we pray, the more the reciprocity.

    HankD
     
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  7. Deacon

    Deacon
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    I'd love to have you on my chair set-up team!
    There are usually many task oriented support positions that need filling in any church, lawn mowing, Mr. Fix It - go-to guy, sound technician, cleaning and vacuuming, etc.

    These may sound boring and worthless but if they are not done someone, sometimes even pastoral staff usually fills in.

    The key to success though, is reliability. If you're not reliable there is only a limited number of tasks you can be trusted with.

    As you become trusted in one area, others may open up.
    Don't think that this will take days or weeks, think a year or more.
    God will work things out over time... but perhaps support positions are exactly where he wants you.

    I know one very successful pastor that started out cleaning church toilets.

    Rob
     
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  8. StefanM

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    I wouldn't mind doing anything my medication would permit. I probably couldn't do outdoor labor for more than brief periods because lithium makes a person very sensitive to heat.

    But I would do a chair-set-up team, if my church needed it (we have pews).
    Sound tech--I'll have to think about that. I'm not sure I have the knowledge, but I'm not sure how much they might train. This could be an option.

    Cleaning and vacuuming are fine by me. My first job as a teenager was as a janitor.

    Thanks for the ideas.
     
  9. Martin Marprelate

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    Just a thought, but have you considered the Gideon ministry?
    There are opportunities for prison ministry as well as presenting Scriptures to the armed forces, police, fire-fighters, students, school-children and placing Scriptures in hotels, funeral parlours, retirement homes, doctors' and dentists' surgeries etc. as well as personal witness I have found the work a great blessing.

    It is true that you have to be (or have been) a business or professional person, but in Britain (where I live) at least, that is interpreted very widely. Your educational qualifications may be enough to get you in.
     
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  10. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I think I would probably be a bit out of place, but it's something to consider.

    I would primarily like to serve (or serve through) my local church.
     
  11. David Crosby

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    How about outreach. Like for the shut ins and home visit to those in need (physically, emotionally or spiritually).
     
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  12. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I would be open, if the church is. They might not yet want to put me in that spot, though.
     
  13. Iconoclast

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    If your church has a nursing home ministry it can always use another hand, and voice for singing. The older saints and those at the home like when someone offers a living hope to them.
    If your church does not have one, you could start one on the Lord's day afternoon as a ministry.
     
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  14. David Crosby

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    I second the motion
     
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  15. Iconoclast

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    An added blessing is that you pray and go to "minister " to them, but many times the blessing comes right back to you as God even uses those seasoned saints to speak wisdom back your way.:Thumbsup:Thumbsup:Thumbsup
     
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  16. David Crosby

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    My wife use to work at a old folks home and when the man of God came around (3 times a week) was the highlight of their day. The guy told me something like he couldn't get enough of God's glory He put into play (through him I'd have to say).
     
  17. David Crosby

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    that's a fact
     
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  18. Jordan Kurecki

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    Evangelism is a command for all. Don't use the "it's not my gift" excuse.
     
  19. Salty

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    IF not for the illness, can you expound on why you think you are disqualified from being a pastor or deacon?
     
  20. StefanM

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    Read my post again. I'm seeking to improve my obedience in that area. I just don't have a special spiritual gift for it. I'm not saying I dont want to do it. I would love to do it more. I was just being asked about my gifts.

    I know it's for everyone. I simply have to work harder because it's not a spiritual gift of mine. I wish it were.
     

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