Last October, I walked into our pastors office excited to share the news. I had been praying for quite sometime on God’s direction for my life. Through some events in my life, God had made it pretty clear to me that I was being prepared for ministry.
I was pretty geared up….scared…but felt completely ready spiritually, emotionally, whatever, for the challenge God had placed before me. I decided that if I was going to pursue God’s calling to the ministry, I would need to get some education. So I started looking into schools and continuing education degrees. “Ah, if I just had the extra letters behind my name….I would be taken more seriously, and be more qualified, right?”
My heart was not in the right place and the doors shut on continuing education for me.
My new prayer became: “Okay, God you’ve got this….I’m ready. Here am I, send me, send me!”
More doors shut….more time waiting….More hurt, more frustration, more confusion…
Me: “God, I don’t understand. Ministry….”
God: “Ministry is a way of life, not a title, a stamp on a pay-check, or letters behind your name. It is the state of your heart. Serve me.”
Me (humbled): “Ah….I think I understand….”
See, I had it backwards. The American-career-way is to seek title, position, and a greater paycheck, right? Always waiting for that next promotion and pay bump. Chasing the carrot…. As a self-proclaimed “workaholic,” I thought if I just worked harder I could show God how hard I could work, and then He could use me. I was wrong….
Ministry is an out-pouring of ones heart regardless of what a person receives in return. Think about Jesus’ ministry…..The little children He held and said “come to me,” the countless hours of training of His disciples, the healing of the sick…..He served His heavenly Father FIRST and did that through serving the people He came in contact with.
In my mind, I heard “ministry” and forgot the reality that I was already living out that position. God called me to ministry the day I became a Christian. “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2) and “Go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28)
I already had the letters behind my name (…and I didn’t even have to apply for financial aid!): Kelly Sundsvold, C.O.G, C.F. (Child of God and Christ Follower)
Another thing I realized was, my cake business was part of God’s ministry plan. My cake business and I have a love/hate relationship. I really hate having to clean my kitchen cabinets of powdered sugar BUT I really love the people I meet through their orders.
My business has become more about the people than the actual confectionery, sugary treats. I enjoy being able to be a part of people’s milestones in life….weddings, birthdays, graduations, surprise parties….it’s an honor to, in some ways, be invited to be a part of their event. Yes, it’s usually only the dessert part, and I don’t get to actually go to the parties where my cakes are served, but I get to hear all about their exciting upcoming event. I get to hear about their families, their children….the happy in their life.
I don’t make a lot of money as a cake decorator. In fact, I just got done finishing my taxes for last year and once I subtracted my expenses from what I made….yeah, I made more babysitting as a teen….But, what has come out of it is the relationships with the people I have had the pleasure of making cakes for. Also, the small amount of money I have made has been able to go to paying for expanding my craft as a musician. (lessons, leadership mentoring, etc.)
God has called each of us, as Followers of Christ, to a life in ministry. Sometimes it’s by being a Pastor, worship leader, Sunday School teacher….Or as a chef, housekeeper, CEO, Mom, or as a cake decorator. Regardless of position, title, and paycheck, we are called to serve and carry out the Gospel of Christ. “Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14)
Following the path,
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