Often the professional has great difficulty using within the church those same skills which he or she finds so useful in the secular market. This is because we are not willing to lay aside our sense of ego, the competitive nature, the desire for credit, and to simply do our tasks as unto the Lord. When the world measures one’s abilities in terms of financial remuneration, it is difficult to develop an attitude which measures worth in terms of the effect on others’ lives. However, once the professional discovers the meaning of ministry within the church, he is able to apply those same principles to his job.
The largest problem facing the lay person is how to relate his or her Christianity to real life. The secret to the answer is found in understanding the working of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A close friend had yielded herself to the Holy Spirit and begun to grope with the meaning of the gifts of healing. An excellent teacher and musician, she taught music in a private inner-city school where there were many emotionally distraught children. In a small prayer cell, she voiced her concern about the children and sought wisdom as to how to minister in her profession. She had decided she wanted to use her abilities in ministry in her classroom.
Every morning she was assigned to monitor the cafeteria before school. She took her Bible and spent that half-hour in prayer, asking God to fill the troubled school with His presence. Private lessons gave her close physical contact with students. Laying her hands casually on some troubled child, she would instruct music, all the while praying that God would use her as a channel for His healing, that He would fill the disordered personality with love and restore any chemical imbalance. She chose musicals for teens to perform that would stimulate religious thinking, selections from the musical Godspell, and a contemporary cantata on Amos, the narration of which was taken straight from Scripture.
She began to witness surprising responses on the behalf of those problem children as well as spiritual resistance, particularly as it related to her administration. At the end of the year, wearied and a little worn from the efforts, she was rewarded by the words of the special education teacher who said that in “all of her years of teaching she had never had so much success with so many difficult cases.” Little did the other teacher realize the hours of prayer, as well as the application of the gifts of teaching and music, that had aided her.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen Mains serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.