Real ministry happens during real life

by Demi Prentiss

In a recent review of Radical Sending, Gayle Hunter Hagland offered praise for the book, saying it reminds congregations “that real ministry happens during real life.” What clarity that brings to the difficulties of truly being a follower of Jesus, refusing to settle for being a “Sunday only” Christian.

We don’t need to bring Jesus out into the world. The Living God is already there at work, in the real lives of people. God’s challenge to us is to tune our hearts to see where God’s Spirit is moving, and to partner with whatever the Spirit might be up to. Often that means immersing ourselves in the messiness of real life.

Jesus spent much of his earthly life living on the messy margins, outside the boundaries of acceptability – talking with women, healing lepers, befriending tax collectors, breaking bread with sinners. Hanging out with “the wrong people” didn’t earn him any points with the powerful, rich, and famous. He immersed himself in “real life,” and brought real life – life abundant – to those who chose to walk his way.

Jesus’ entire life was his ministry. May we become living members of “the Jesus Movement,” claiming each moment of our own real lives as opportunities to be “on mission” with Jesus.

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