If somehow in the midst of your journey to answer a call to ministry, you’ve thought that ministry is a stable, secure profession, it’s not. Ministry disrupts your life and your plans. Ministry puts you in the middle of shootings, in the middle of assembling bleach kits for a needle exchange program, and in the middle of a group of people waiting for the door of the homeless shelter to open so they can have a place of refuge for the day.
As I held our eight-month old on one hip and a bag of donated bread in my other hand saying, “Good morning,” to the people who were waiting to get in, there was a fleeting moment where I wondered if I should have brought him with me. Maybe as a parent, I should be shielding him from the man sleeping on newspaper and the clients who live at shelter who are dressed and headed to work, just like they do every morning. Maybe I shouldn’t be showing him the Lexus SUVs and Sedans of the staff who are scanning into work while others wait outside having not eaten since the night before.
But this is exactly what I want our son to see. I want him to see and understand privilege.
I want him to be on the outside with those being kept out and monitored. I want him to understand that ministry is disruption whether that’s a disruption morning routine in order to drop off donations or disruption by trying to give bread to people waiting outside of the homeless shelter until the security guard has to come out and explain that all donations have to go inside to be reallocated later in the day.
We have convinced ourselves that ministry is predictable, patterned, and planned because that’s easier, safer, and more comfortable.
Ministry is disruption.