As I type this, I can easily think of at least 10 ministry opportunities at my local church. Families need meals, girls need discipleship, and athletic events need support. Maybe it’s just me, but I see these needs and immediately feel burdened to say, “Yes” to all of them. If my mind were an internet browser, countless tabs would be open with thoughts such as, “Text Sally. I haven’t seen her in a while.” “I need to plan a fun spring event.” “We need to do an outreach ministry.” “Sue’s family is quarantined. Maybe I should put a meal on their porch for them.” And the list could go on. I have a feeling, though, that this isn’t just me. We as women often feel the need to say, “Yes” to all the things and that entire ministries rest on our shoulders.
Sisters, though we should be serving others, which requires sacrifice of our time and resources, let me offer some freedom today – We’re not called to do all the things.
God is in control.
I often think, “If I don’t do this, then who will?” thinking it all depends on me. Truthfully, these thoughts show I have a faulty view of both God and myself, making more of me and less of God. Colossians 1:16-17 tells us all things were created by Christ and for Christ. Also, it teaches that in Christ, all things hold together. Who is central in these verses? Christ. The ministries God has given us are for Christ and held together by Christ, not us. Thinking it all rests on us makes much of us, not the Lord. When we say yes to too much, we aren’t trusting God with our “No”. Take the burden off, dear sisters, God doesn’t call us to control it all. He already does that, and He does so far more perfectly and beautifully than we ever could.
We all have different gifts.
When we try to do it all, not only do we suffer, but others do as well. 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 teaches about spiritual gifts, using the illustration of the body. As Christians, we’re all equally and uniquely gifted to serve the Body of Christ. With this, we all mutually need one another. Some of us are the “mouth,” able to use our words to teach Scripture. Meanwhile, others are the “hands,” with a special eye and ability to see and meet the needs of others. When we believe ministry fully relies on us, we don’t allow others the opportunities to use their giftings. Likewise, those we minister to miss out on the edification that another person can bring. For example, I’m gifted at teaching. However, I’m not always the best at planning fun events. Bible study is important, but fellowship is as well. I need someone to come alongside me to help in this and other areas I’m weak. Working together with others allows for each person to use their unique giftings for the glory of God.
Iron sharpens iron (Prov. 27:17).
Serving alongside others is a great way for us to grow in Christlikeness. I often serve with youth moms who are a season ahead of me. They’ve discipled me so much in regards to motherhood in the midst of us discipling middle school girls. If we try to do it all, we serve on an island, which isn’t what God intended. However, if we serve with others, they can sharpen us for the glory of God. Also, serving in the local church is a great way to build relationships with those we might not naturally build relationships with (those in a different season of life, etc.).
We’re not enough, but God is.
Trying to do it all is claiming we’re sufficient, which is the furthest thing from the truth. We get so worn out when we try to do it all because this isn’t how God designed us. He designed us with limitations to remind us that only He is all-sufficient. Yes, God equips us to do what He’s called us to do, but He’ll never call us to do everything. We’re human, which means we get tired, only have a certain number of hours in the day, and have unique strengths and weaknesses. God isn’t human. He never gets tired, He’s always at work, and He’s perfectly strong in all things. When we realize our human limitations, it’s actually a pretty freeing place to be. It’s the place where we understand our need for Christ. It’s where we can humbly submit to him, recognizing we aren’t enough, but God is. As we delegate and ask for help, it sets a wonderful example for our girls. Daily, they’re bombarded with pressure to do all the things as well, which will only grow as they age. When we model for them that being human is okay, we can point them to Christ, the all-sufficient Savior who is fully enough for each of us.
Dear sisters, find rest in Christ. He doesn’t call us to hold the weight of the world on our shoulders, because He already does that for us. The wonderful thing is, He never tires of this task. Take every “yes” and “no” to the Lord, trusting His perfect wisdom. Invite others to come alongside you. What a wonderful way to disciple and also be discipled! This also ensures we don’t do ministry alone. When others come alongside us, we have a built-in encourager, counselor, and accountability partner as various situations arise.
Though ministry can be challenging, it’s also so very joyous. And friends, I’m here to tell you, it’s even much more joyous when we do it with friends. Let go of the pressure to do it all, and as you do, praise God that he provides us with one another to serve his church together.
Cassie Pattillo is a wife to Jack, and mama to Hunter (5), Isaac (3), and is in the process of adopting from India. Jack is a student pastor, so she loves serving alongside him and investing in teens’ lives. She is passionate about biblical literacy along with writing and teaching about Scripture. She is also a big fan of slow mornings with a cup of coffee, a good book on the beach, and Gamecock football. Connect with Cassie: Blog // Facebook // Instagram