“Ministry of Presence”. As Billy Graham Rapid Response Chaplains we are taught that this is our role. Simply to show up, be present. I struggled with this role at times. As a goal-oriented, “doer”, I wrestled with the instruction to show up and just be there. Sometimes I would be overwhelmed with wondering what I would say to comfort these hurting people if given the opportunity. That’s when I realized the struggle was real! It was a prompting of the Holy Spirit to teach me there was more to just showing up but not the “more” I was thinking.
Since becoming an RTT Chaplain I have continued to have a heart to enter into the world of those hurting whether it is in death, sickness or natural disaster. What draws me there I wonder? Why is it that I’d rather go to a funeral than a wedding?
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2
Perhaps because I have recognized that in sorrow, in darkness His light abounds. It is there we consider eternity because we are desperate for hope.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5
I have discovered recently that the “ministry of presence” is less about my own presence and more about bringing the presence of God.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16
My physical presence has the opportunity to bring God’s divine presence. A vessel of hope, peace, grace, mercy….love.
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21
We are all called to this “ministry of presence”. You don’t have to be titled Pastor, Priest, Chaplain. Your title, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and surrendered your life to the ministry of the Gospel is Chosen.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
As followers of Jesus Christ we have entered into the call to be ministers of reconciliation.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Therefore, my brothers and sisters in Christ. You are chosen, a priest with the ministry of reconciliation. Filled with the Holy Spirit, our “ministry of presence” is to show up and allow His presence to be present.