This week, a friend said she’s stepping onto the water.

When we have a family to care for, we have to be careful in whom we place our faith (especially in this economy). Now, more than ever, I am seeing people giving up their homes, dream jobs, and everyday comforts in order to have more resources for ministry.

Growing up, this was only a happening in “Bible Times.”

The disciples left their nets–their livelihood–and followed Christ; some even left their dead relatives before burying them. Christ Himself even left His family, home, and vocation in order to pursue full time ministry. Praise God He did!

In today’s world it, isn’t always clear.

What should we be willing to give up? What water should we step out onto?

These questions are some that are unique for each family. Perhaps you feel the Lord tugging at your heart to ask these and similar questions of your family. The fact is that ministry doesn’t look the same for everyone. The same friend mentioned something else that struck me deep.

God gave us all different ideas and passions, sometimes called “spiritual gifts.”

Imagine a large lake or small sea. Imagine looking across the waters and seeing the faces of your church family–not only your local church, but your worldwide church family. Each person stands on the shoreline, some are standing on steep banks of rock, some are on slight slopes of grass, others on smooth sand. We are all on the shore, where we are comfortable. The truth is that it doesn’t matter where we are on the shoreline, whether we are focused on the health message, community services, mission work, youth evangelism, foot-to-pavement outreach, music ministry, Sabbath school, administration, education (the list is really endless because it depends on each of our personalities). No matter where we are comfortable in ministry, what we’re good at, or where our passions lie, when we step out onto the water in faith, we are all stepping onto the same water.

It’s the very same water that Peter stepped onto and the very same Jesus that Peter looked to.

While it is important to know our place in ministry, understand what we’re good at, and preach the Gospel in a way that we understand, it is vital to see these faces on the other side of the shore from where we stand. We have to remember these people are our family, the ones we hope to spend an eternity with in the Kingdom. We have to remember that we have strengths and weaknesses. Just like my brother Joe is great with cars, and Ben is great with people, and I’m great with words (I hope), we are all part of the very same family. And we don’t have to see these things the same way. Although my fellow Christian sister may do her best work for God from behind a piano or behind the counter at a health food store, it’s still the same God we serve. There are different audiences to think about. There are many people on different parts of the shoreline, just wishing someone would show them the Savior to look on as they step out onto the water.

When we make an effort to seek the Lord’s will in our lives, we give up some part of it in order to make Him a part of it.

Whatever that is for you, it may not be that for me. But you better believe we will meet on the water, and if we have our eyes on Jesus, I won’t worry about how you’re using your resources, talents or passions. And maybe you won’t worry that my sacrifices and services look differently than yours.

After all, looking at the water from the shoreline can be really scary, especially when you’re looking at everyone else and how you measure up. When we step out onto the water in faith, we’re all in the “same boat”, and working for the same Captain!

Thanks, Pam, for your words of wisdom.