I have been asked to write a blog post on what I observed over the past 10 months of the Residency Program here at Watermark. I have been serving specifically with the External Focus team. It has been an incredible time seeing firsthand all the ministries we are connected to, and being able to see those ministries’ hearts in serving the “least of these” (Matt. 25:35-40).
Last month, I was able to serve at four ministry partners in one week! I served at QuestCare Clinic, Interfaith Housing Coalition, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, and OurCalling. Each ministry gave me a great reminder of why we connect with our local Ministry Partners, who are being the hands and feet of Christ in their community.
A few points I observed that week (that reflected what I’ve learned this year!):
All ministry began with the gospel and was done for the love of Christ. We had a devotional time everywhere I went, to begin each day. That meant that our service of others began with the gospel of grace and Christ’s mission for us – to be and make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). That gave me a greater understanding of how I was to serve with his love. By showing that love through service, people would recognize I was a disciple of Jesus (John 13:35)!
Each ministry was for the common good of the people. In each community, there was a specific need that was met by this ministry – whether that was helping the homeless with a meal, providing urgent care for the uninsured, or teaching job-searching methods and skills. Each ministry organization focused on doing its particular jobs with excellence. They were not distracted by functioning in another ministry’s role, but rather focused on doing what God had called them to and being that specific part of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12).
Each ministry strove to share the good news behind their good works. When I consider all that is done outside the doors of our church, I see the universal Church spreading the gospel by the way its people share their very lives with others (1 Thess. 2:8). This is encouraging, since it also seems easy to find ministries built for the “work of ministry” itself and not for the purpose of building Christ’s Church by sharing the Why behind their What (Eph. 4:12).
All that to say, I have been overwhelmed by the care and kindness that has been shown through the people and partners we are connected with. The Residency Program has been an incredible 10-month journey of growth in my walk with Christ. I see clearer that “Ministry is where your feet are,” that God has placed you somewhere on purpose so you can share the free gift that you have been given and model the love of Christ that all need.
If you want to plan your own weeklong serving adventure – or better yet, dive in with one of our Ministry Partners in an ongoing way, you can find the list at watermark.org/impact! And if you’re interested in Watermark’s Residency Program, let us know.
Photo Credit: photosteve101 via Compfightcc