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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ministrivia Seems So Trivial


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: KJV Eph 6:5-7


“Ministrivia” is what Pocket Full of Change Ministries calls those mundane tasks that seem trivial and yet are critical to leading people to Jesus. The problem is, I’d rather be with people leading them Jesus then doing Ministrivia. I know Ministrivia is important – I just don’t want to do it. For those tasks, I just have to work as to the Lord.

This week, in Sedona, surrounded by lovely red rocks, I’ve been giving the Gospel and also catching up on Ministrivia. First, there were the unwritten stories. I can’t write all encounters but some stories must be told. I love writing. However, after I write comes the Ministrivia. I have to proof (Bob helps), insert HTML code, and post on our website, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Then there are the photographs. I love taking pictures. What I consider Ministrivia is downloading, formatting, grouping, and uploading them onto our FTP site. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

There are the pesky receipts that try so hard to escape. Pocket Full of Change Ministries is a non-profit company and receipts are an absolute must. In receipts, the IRS is my master. I have to collect them, try to read the fading ink, categorize them, put them in an expense report, and mail them to the bookkeeper. I can’t say anything positive about that process. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love leading people to Jesus. I love following up and hearing how Jesus works in their lives. What is Ministrivia is all of that work in between. I have to get their contact information and put it in the database for snail mail, on Constant Contact (our e-mail software), and on Talk Fusion (our video software). Each is a different format and requires individual input. After I capture the information, I send new Christians a free book and cover letter and try to follow up. Recently The Sojourner Fellowship offered to send books out and follow up for discipleship. I’m thrilled but I still have to get the books and contact information to them and put the contact information into the databases. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love interacting with people. The electronic world has made that so easy. I text, Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, and talk on the phone. The Ministrivia comes because most calls require tracking of information and follow up. I take, file, and retrieve notes, create reminders, and follow up. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love life on the road. It is an adventure. However, if I don’t keep up with camper Ministrivia, “Life on the Road” becomes the “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Campers do not offer the grace of Jesus. I have to check tires, get oil changed, refuel gas and propane, service the generator and air conditioner, check water lines and levels, dump wastewater, and carefully hook and unhook everything in exactly the right order. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Gadgets – can’t do without them and can’t keep up with them. The amount of Ministrivia is overwhelming. Cameras, computers, cell phones, WiFi connectors, and ear buds need charging. If I don’t delete e-mail and photographs from my “smarter than me” phone, the phone’s memory begins acting like mine. It seems like I am forever putting batteries in something. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Ordering – what did we do without the internet? I have to order tracts, books, stationary, business cards, post cards, gifts, and bubbles (yes – I did say bubbles).  This requires getting online, reminding myself how to use their website and software, and pulling out credit cards. I don’t like it but I need this to do my job. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love writing and speaking short inspirational messages. However, each must go via the bossy internet or laborious snail mail. It takes getting on line, fighting bugs in software, and often entering or speaking the same thing multiple times because of software or user error. Snail mail is the most tedious of all. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Let’s face it. I don’t enjoy Ministrivia. Recently, my beloved very part-time admin person, Barbara Gobbs retired so for now, I’m “it” for Ministrivia. I do it for the privilege of being allowed to be with someone when they meet Jesus. If you hear me whining about Ministrivia, remind me that I am a servant of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.

P.S. -  I’ll take any and all offers of assistance so I can spend more time directly leading people to Jesus.

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