Ken, we’ve got to go down the street and give her a hand.” Of course my ears perked up and I asked what was going on. “There’s a snake in her house,” was our pastor’s reply with wide eyes. My immediate response was, “Wait a minute! There is nothing about getting snakes out of houses in my job description!” Bro. Ben’s answer was matter of fact, “It’s not in mine either but we’ve got to go.” He was right. We had to go.
Philippians 2 tells us about having the same attitude as Christ and if we are seeking to become more like Christ then we must follow His example. If He could leave heaven and submit to death on a cross then there should be nothing that is beneath us if it being done for others in love and in ministry to them.
The end of the snake story was that we phoned a couple of my teenaged student ministry guys as reinforcements, collected the implements of war and went on the offensive. Then we drove to the home and entered on tip toes. The snake, a rather long and dark creature, was located underneath a china cabinet. After some frantic moments of playing chase we finally dispatched the intruder.
Nobody on that team of snake hunters was particularly enthusiastic about being involved in that adventure but the home owner was in need and we were the only help available. So we charged ahead.
On one occasion a few years back I was standing in the doorway of the church office in Booneville, stretched to my almost 6’2” height with my 250lb body taking up as much room as I possibly could. The young, loud-mouthed man standing outside our church office needed to know that I had seen him throw his girlfriend from the car down the street from the church. As she was walking by the church in tears, our pastor and I asked her inside to use the phone and to make sure she was all right and out of the street if he came back.
The “poor excuse for a boyfriend” did come back and he was now under the impression that he would be welcome to enter our office and continue his uncontrolled temper tantrum. He had no idea how wrong he was. In my best master’s in counseling voice I attempted to deal with him. When logic seemed to be having no effect on the dim-witted fellow a rather loud, baritone voice thundered from behind me declaring to the young man that he had better leave. Our pastor was behind me. We had to deal with an unpleasant situation. It wasn’t in the job description but it was the right thing to do.
Ministry can take on different looks. Sometimes it is cleaning up a mess that someone else made, sometimes a hospital visit, sometimes taking out the trash, sometimes sharing the gospel, sometime it is cooking food for a family, sometimes it is doing something in a new way when it has been done in another for years. Ministry to others is the way of Jesus. Sometimes it never changes. Sometimes it means doing things outside of the box. Sometimes it means grabbing the situation by the horns and doing the job….even if it is dirty and no one else wants to do it. Sometimes it is killing a snake or staring down a pompous, ill-tempered louse.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:“ Philippians 2:4-5a