The right fit. We all desire it. With our friends. With our jobs. With our clothes. In many areas of life we have personal preferences and criteria that help us decide what is a right fit and what is not. So how do you find the right fit when it comes to ministry? God, in His creativity, made each of us unique and beautiful, in His own image. God’s expansive creation also means there is a vast gamut of ministry options, all good and all beneficial to His Kingdom. How do we decide? Here are four things you can do find the best ministry fit for you.
First, get to know yourself.
The key here is to be honest with yourself. Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Think about your likes and dislikes. Think about your personality type, as well as what really charges you up or gets you excited or encouraged. Maybe consider things others have done for you that you found meaningful. Do you prefer to do things that interact directly with people? Do you prefer to be “up front” in some way? Or, would you rather serve in the background quietly? What things come naturally? Be honest in your evaluation of your tendencies, but also fair, acknowledging that God has created you in His image. He gave us all gifts, strengths, abilities, and passions. Discover what those are so you know what you have to work with as a starting point.
There is no harm in trying out a few ministry options. We test drive cars before buying them. We often try on clothes before buying them. So why not try on a ministry to see if it fits before committing? If there are options at your church to serve, see if you can try serving for a month in one of them to see if it fits you without making a long-term commitment. Be honest with the leaders about your intention, and they’ll likely to gladly help you. A key here is to try things even if you think they might not be a great fit. You might be surprised at how God works in you or in the situation to make it better than you expected. As well, be careful not to make assumptions about what it takes to excel in a particular ministry. In most areas of church ministry, you need not be an expert to be a volunteer. Church leaders love to train and mentor servant-hearted people.
Third, seek good counsel from others.
Other people know things about you that you might not recognize about yourself. Find one or two people you trust who can help you evaluate if a particular ministry is a good fit for you, as well as help you brainstorm what ministry options you have. It is important in this step that you be open to receive feedback, even if it is not what you expected to hear. Sometimes the best advice can be challenging. However, this is part of the growing process, and in the long run will help point us in the right direction. Take the input from others and use it to help guide your process and self-learning.
Fourth, stick with it.
Sometimes it takes a little time for us to settle into a rhythm in a new role or a new ministry. There may be a learning curve to conquer. Give it some time and put in a sincere effort before deciding to give up and move on to something else. As with many things in life, there are patterns in ministry. Some seasons are busier than others, some times are more fun or meaningful than others. It is important to weather a few storms and capture the essence of the opportunity in the highs and the lows. Only after gaining a fuller perspective can you truly have all the relevant information from which to make your decision. It might help to remember that God has been and is incredibly faithful to all of us in our lives, and we are called to be the same – faithful. Faithful in life; faithful in ministry. Be patient and see what God is going to do.
All of the above should of course be covered in prayer. Ask God to show you what He has for you in terms of a ministry fit. Your willingness and honest efforts will surely not go unnoticed. We may not do it perfectly, but God knows our hearts and will honor our sincere efforts to serve him and others. Finding the right ministry fit can be incredibly rewarding: the kind of moment that makes you say “I was made for this!” So go out there, and find your fit.