The Problem with Certain Ministries
The problem with certain ministries is that they can take away from the reason we pay homage to our Lord. When we do something beneficial for our salvation it should be done without praise to ourselves. We may not think we are giving ourselves rewards, but in fact are. If we do something quietly and with sacrifice we are serving our purpose to fulfill the promises of Christ. I will give some example of how we glorify ourselves without even realizing we are doing it. Before I do, I would like to explain that there are numerous graces that can be obtained through our submission, if it is genuine. Let me point out that this is not just something I am stating, Christ has promised this to those who truly conform to his teaching. The saints are great examples to which we can apply this obligation. I use the word obligation because we are obliged to adhere to the word of the Lord. We owe Him everything we are and have in our possesions. We should use every talent and ability for His glory. If you really contemplate this we will find that most of us are sorely lacking in compliance. Most of us are not as humble or meek as we should be. We of course could never obtain the highest degree of humility or any other virtue but we have to accrue the level of our state that God is asking from us. Discernment is part of this process. Upon understanding all these things we must act accordingly. This means we have to actually do what the Lord is asking from us. This is not always easy because it involves some vanity on our part or lack of courage to do this. This also may take some time to overcome. Prayer is very important in obtaining the assistance of The Holy Spirit. Remember that however difficult these tasks may seem, they are necessary to our salvation. If we offend God we will suffer greatly.
In regards to ministries I have just one of many examples of why I decided to leave the Stewardship of my church. I believe that The Holy Spirit was guiding me to a more prayerful and quiet kind of practice of my faith. He was and is still continuing to assist me in giving myself to God and not to glorify myself. You see not all ministries of the church are fruitless but some are not in compliance with the true teaching of our Jesus Christ. Example: I was asked to take care of handling the turning over of the missals at the appropriate season of the church. I didn't know who was doing it before, because it was not made public. I found out who took care of this and she showed me how it was done. I thought this is a service I could give the Lord without fanfare. I could help my pastor so that he could take care of other important duties. This is a necessity because of the use of these missals for mass. I figured no one except a few kids who were learning how to service our Lord would be involved. This would give us time to be quiet and keep company with Jesus as well as assisting in a ministry that would be beneficial. The next thing you know I was instructed by the stewarship coordinator to get more help and involve more older people who needed something to do. It ended up being quite a few adults and the task of changing over the missals went by very quickly and we were out of the church in a flash. There ended up being very few kids getting involved for whatever the reasons may have been (not enough children available, I never even found out). I had worked with the children in the past and it took several hours but it went well and gave us all time in the House of the Lord. By adding so many people, it was done too swiftly and seemed like an assembly line in a factory with everyone wanting to finish up quickly and get out. That is not what this should be about. Hurry up and get it over with. Then on top of it they wanted to put this in the "stewardship" book and make it a ministry for people to get involved in. Well there goes all the quiet acts we can do for our Lord. This is not meant to criticize anyone and the intentions were good. I know the assistance was meant to be helpful. There was no malice involved. I am stating that we are in too much of a hurry to finish things when it comes to servicing God and we don't need to broadcast it for everyone to see in a book. I feel that this is misunderstood by others. We can be seen as well, by others, because teaching by our actions is important as well. We just can't get overly zealous about how we go about matters that shouldn't pertain to us. We have to keep in perspective the reasons we involve ourselves, and for the gain of our salvation, by glorifying our Lord appropriately. There other examples I can elaborate on due to the ministries that I feel should be avoided, and I will allow for this at another time.