God Given Ministry

District Fellowship News
May, June 2004

In March, we were privileged once again to hold the Northern New England District Fine Arts Festival. Each year, dozens of students, parents, and friends join together to celebrate some of the incredible talent God has gifted our students with. There were singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, pianists, preachers, puppeteers, drama groups, and whether you believe it or not (here in Northern New England) a rap presentation. Each student or group was judged  according to a preset group of standards and those who best met those standards were awarded a Superior with Invitation, which included an invitation to the National Fine Arts Festival held this year in Austin, Texas in early August. (I know. I was thinking that, too. Texas...August...well I’m sure there’s air conditioning.)

But truthfully the most important part of this event was not the outcome of the presentations, but it was the presenters and their willingness to be used of God according to the giftings He has raised up in them. In 2 Timothy 4:1- 5 (NLT), Paul encourages Timothy in many things. “Preach the word of God. Be persistent....Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage...Don’t be afraid of suffering...Work at bringing others to Christ.” What a list to remember! And yet it can be summed up in the last sentence of verse 5, “Complete the ministry God has given you.

Timothy, do what God has gifted you to do. Do what He has set before you. Every student who came to Fine Arts deserves credit for showing up to share their talent, their gift with others in service to the Lord. For some it may only be a passing fancy, something they do now because their friends are doing it, or someone told them they were good at it. For others, it will be the start or continuation of a journey that will see this gift blossom into God-given ministry.

You see, in order to complete the ministry God has given, we first must identify the ministry God has given. For our students this may be a process that is only starting, or is still continuing as they develop their giftings. Most of them will never be a professional (earn your living from writing music) songwriter, but more likely they will one day write one or two songs that touch the hearts of men and move them to turn toward their loving God. Very few will be a singer that wins a Grammy or Dove award, but singing a special on Sunday morning or as part of a worship team, they will see lives changed by the power of the Spirit of God moving through music. Maybe none of the areas they were involved in at the Fine Arts Festival will ever be used again, but because they were willing to use the gifts God has given, He will point them toward their God-given ministry.

And once pointed in that direction, their life goal will be the same as Timothy’s, yours and mine: completion. We must be faithful to complete the ministry God has given us. You may be a little older than the students who were with us at Fine Arts, but it is certainly not too late to ask God to remind you of the ministry He has given you, and to commit yourself to completing His work.