Ministry. My first time involved in ministry. What does this even mean? The word most directly means an agency or entity that is governed by a minister. However in a Christian context the following definition is helpful, “a humble but loving service to the needs of humanity at large” (italics added) (1). For me then in the context of ACMNP (A Christian Ministry in the National Parks) it means humbly and lovingly serving the community in Death Valley National Park.
What does a ministry in Death Valley look like? I have two focuses. The first is putting on Sunday worship services in the park, open to both visitors and employees. The services are interdenominational, Christ-centered, and open to everyone. The second focus is relational ministry with people who work in the parks. Our team works in three different places within the park. I will be working at the Inn, so my immediate sphere will be the people that work next to me. I will be living in the dorms, so that will be my next sphere. Then there’s the dining hall. And wherever else there may be. With relational ministry it’s all about simply loving people the way Christ loved and making friendships. My intent is to show people that they are loved and that someone cares about them. The desert is an isolating place, and I’m sure there are a lot of people that are trying to escape something.
“My intent is to show people that they are loved and that someone cares about them.”
Of course these are my thoughts at the moment. I don’t know what my time will really look like. And I don’t know what will really be the situation. Please pray with me that the time is well spent loving and caring the people that will be around me.
G. S. M. Walker and R. T. Beckwith, “Ministry,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 769.