I believe there is a fine line in ministry. A line between accomplishing "necessary" tasks and goals, and being with and meeting the needs of the people around you. Sometimes the two mix, sometimes they don't.
Are you a task-oriented person ((TOP) or a people-oriented person (POP)?
I am a task-oriented person and an introvert. While I enjoy people, I can also spend hours alone, fixated on a project. After spending any substantial time with people, I often find it necessary to get away and "recharge." I realize God created us differently - in personality, in giftings, and in the issues and people which stir our hearts.
Lately, I have been thinking about the focus of my ministry here, or rather the Lord's ministry that He has invited me to be a part of in Uganda.
My involvements and responsibilities have increased since I returned to Uganda two months ago. On one hand, I am grateful to be busy and active. On the other hand, sometimes I become weary after trying to accomplish my "work," that I don't have enough energy remaining for people. I put "work" in quotes because I have a hard time using the word as it can suggest something like a 9-to-5 job, which is not how I want to portray what I am doing here.
Sometimes I wonder how Jesus did it during His ministry on earth. I am sure there were certain things and tasks that had to be accomplished as part of His mission, yet He always seemed to take time for the people - the hungry and pressing crowds, the sick and despised individuals, the minimized outcasts, the needy disciples, the "sinners." How did He do it?
Jesus testified over and over again that He was on earth to do His Father's will, not to accomplish His own agenda. Here, the incarnate Son of God, willingly placed Himself under the authority and direction of His Father - reflecting their perfect unity and divine eternal relationship.
"Jesus gave them this answer: 'I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.'" - John 5:19-23
Each step, each word, each act of mercy, each encounter of the Son was directed and inspired by the Father. I believe they were in constant communion. Jesus accomplished all that the Father had given Him to do because He was never out of contact (aside from the few hours surrounding His sacrificial death).
How do I know what is good, better or the best of what God wants me to do? How do I know if this task or that person is of the highest priority? Knowing myself, I know I need to put more emphasis on the people around me. The souls of people are the only things that will continue past this world. And, God has called us to play an important role in sharing the incredible Good News of His amazing love and salvation with the souls around us.
Yes, God made us differently - introverts, extroverts, A-type and B-type personalities, varying spiritual gifts, abilities and experiences, and more. Obviously God did this on purpose, but in all, whatever our makeup, we must remain submitted to the Father and the directing of the Holy Spirit. This may mean allowing "interruptions" or the rearranging of our schedules and to-do lists for the "divine encounters."
Whether you're a TOP or POP, let the Father be your Guide in all that you do.
May we say as Jesus said, "I can do nothing by myself."