When one takes upon themselves the mantel of ministry, they take upon the role of a servant. Yes, a servant. This is an uncomfortable feeling for many individuals, because it is human nature to want acceptance, moments in the spotlight, and to be embraced with praise and glorification for our various deeds. Yet, with the call of ministry comes the abandonment of self, the crucifixion of pride, and the concluding fact that you are called to serve a cause greater than one’s self.
Ministry, in a religious respective, is an expression of the will of the religious faith. Politics, in theory, is an expression of policy or legislative affairs that should reflect the will of the constituents. Politics is a ministry, in the sense that the elected leaders are called to serve. In essence, they take on the title of “public servants.” In various parts of the international world, the word “ministry” is widely used. For example, we use the terms “Secretary of Defense/Secretary of State” to relate to our nation’s top military advisor and top diplomat. Overseas, the term used to relate to these positions are “Defense Minister and Foreign Minister.” I find this strikingly intriguing in the fact that “minister” is used to imply that government intends to minister, or to reach out through self-less service, to its constituents. Anytime the government takes on the term of “minister” it is responsible for expressing outreach through humility and having a passion for people.
Ministry is all about people and connecting with their needs. The problem with politicians in the current era is that they know of their constituents but there is no connection to their needs. This is displayed through policies and legislative procedures that ignore the will of the people, and through acts that benefits politicians but can put the constituents at an extreme disadvantage. Majority of politicians are seeking to be in the spotlight, serenaded by a paparazzi of television crew, radio talking heads and attempting to divulge the voter into thinking that they are acutely aware of their needs by doing glamorous, but deceptive public relations. The constituent knows when the politicians are sincere and honest with them. They know that when election time is vastly approaching, the politicians will appear to be interested in improving their economic conditions. This, however, is not ministry. Ministry is a CONSTANT process. It does not occur every 2 or 4 years but it is intact every single day. People need encouragement and advice every day. Ministry is being aware of these needs and making yourself available to being a helpful asset. This concept needs to be applied in the political theatre. The voter needs to see and hear from their elected leaders on a constant basis, not just during an election cycle.
Ministry requires outreach to every human soul that desires to have their lives impacted for the better. Ministry does not see race, ethnicity, sex, economic status, or past failures. Yes, ministry outreaches to those who have done deeds that are considered despicable. After all, it’s not what you were it’s what you can become. The political atmosphere can benefit from the aspects of ministry. Instead of particular parties outreaching to certain voting blocs and turning a deaf ear to others, they could simply engage in outreaching to EVERYONE in need. This will bring about more interest and a better engagement in public affairs and policy. When you reach out to everyone, there is a better feeling of overall satisfaction. The failure to reach out to everyone leaves a sense of discontent and the “out of touch” label begins to take its role.
Ministry isn’t about receiving a prestigious award or adoration. Many times your deeds go unnoticed. Many times you will not receive a “thank you” or a pat on the back. Ministry is selfless. It is the willingness to operate with passion and to influence others without asking for anything in return. Politics is about reaching out to others and impacting the lives of voters without looking for political favors or “back door deals.” It is about staying faithful to your values and principals and not abandoning them for fanfare or popularity. It consists of connecting to the people you have been chose t represent without betraying them for greed, corruption and deceit.
If you feel the call of ministry has landed on your shoulders, you must embrace it without turning back. You must be saturated with a burden to impact the lives of those you come in contact with and the willingness to serve people with the humble heart of a servant. For those who want to be a public servant through the political realm, you must stand with conviction and consistently display the principals that your constituents expect out of you. This must be shown through policies and lifestyle as well.
Will politics embrace the role of ministry and reduce selfishness and greed and increase humility and morality? This remains to be seen. In order for politics to be more positively embraced, it must become a ministry.