God’s Sense Of Humor And The Call To Ministry

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I practice daily humility moments. They’re gonna happen anyway, so I happy to get mine in early. Whenever I’m tempted to think I’m spiffy, I remember a morning in 2009 when God introduced the concept of ministry to me with His unique brand of humor.

If you don’t know God’s grand purpose for you life, I imagine you’re at least a bit interested. Who isn’t? While my first book was still in production at the publisher I learned that new challenges were being added to my to-do list, including ministry.

I’d written a couple of business-related books in the late 1980s so wasn’t unbalanced by the book thing, but the thought of doing anything ministry-related was as foreign to me as becoming a chef. (I don’t cook – at all. Seriously, ask my husband.)

Surprised By a Call to Ministry

As far as I was concerned, the book thing was a piece of cake because it wasn’t my project – it was His. The assignment, title, content, and publisher for “Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace” was all Him. But ministry? Being a relatively obedient sort I replied, “Okay, Lord, I’m good with that, but I don’t know anything about starting a ministry.”

So I asked the obvious question, “Lord, what’s my purpose?”

The answer was crystal clear. One word:  Fertilizer.

Wuh?

Ministry Isn’t Glamorous

I don’t hear God audibly, but I can often share full sentences with punctuation. (No exclamation points so far.) If you need a voice to add character, think Charlton Heston as Moses.

You are to be fertilizer.

Bear in mind that I’ve spent most of my waking hours (and a good number of sleeping ones) for the past few decades in barns and live in one today. I’ve shoveled, scooped, raked, or spread tons of manure on pastures and hayfields. When I hear fertilizer, I think manure. Launching into ministry as horse-apples wasn’t the most complimentary occupation I could imagine.

Really? I’m to be fertilizer?”

Yes.

Fertilizer Isn’t So Bad

Being intimately familiar with the role of fertilizer, I eventually made the connection. Fertilizer is applied to crops already planted, sprouted, and alive. When used properly it strengthens what’s growing,  encourages bigger blooms, greater yields, and richer fruit. There is also a downside to improperly applied fertilizer – it stinks.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with that. Many walk far more difficult roads than serving as simple fertilizer. Consider the Apostle Paul,

Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. – Philippians 2:17

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. – 2 Timothy 4:6

My husband and I laughed nervously at the news, but recognized the attendant restrictions: no sowing, watering, or harvesting. When invited, we’d visit growing crops, deliver a message or assistance, then leave and let the “farmers” handle the rest. If our message is right the crop strengthens; if it’s wrong we knew the distasteful result – we’d stink.

Messages to Motivate Change

Getting the message right was my first and remains my greatest challenge. What I say is right if it is what those listening need to hear – in God’s opinion, not mine.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 13:1

There are as many professional speakers as there are shades of blue. I wasn’t the only motivational voice my booking agent represented. Potential clients often asked how my message compared with others. I replied that there are two basic types of motivational speakers; entertainers and catalysts (aka fertilizer).

Entertainers pump up emotions bringing audiences to their feet a hootin’ and a hollerin’. They deliver a powerful physical or emotional rush. Who doesn’t love to be entertained? But the rush soon fades.  God's sense of humor

I’ve been told that I can be entertaining (insert eye roll) but that’s never been my goal. If you just want to have a good time, hire an entertainer. To offer lasting benefit, hire the catalyst.

Fertilizer can be Transformational

Thirty years of experience proves that  I work best as fertilizer. My definition of speaking success was motivating someone in the audience to live a different life.

My goal is to inspire lasting change, not provide momentary thrills. To offer the keys to transformation; to be better, stronger, more joyous, engaging, and successful. Today I know where those motivational messages are found in God’s Word.

Ministry is Work

Serving as effective fertilizer is work. During our years in ministry we gave everything away for free. Books, time, consulting, travel, programs. The shift from profit to ministry has come full circle. I’m happy to do a lot without cost, but do charge for some work. Whether free or paid, I’m here to help wherever and whenever I can.

God has a grand purpose for you. It’s grand because it’s exclusively yours. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be famous or share the saving knowledge of Christ with thousands, but God created you in the time and place you are for His reason and there isn’t an understudy. You’re it.

We serve an awesome God. He wastes nothing and sports a quirky sense of humor. Maybe you’re one who prepares, plants, or waters. Maybe even one who reaps the harvest. 

2021 update: The call came more than a dozen years ago, but I’m still just fertilizer. 

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Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber is a best-selling Christian author, speaker, and coach helping kingdom-minded people accomplish God's unique purpose for them to advance His kingdom on earth. "Revival is doable!" She's also a retired World and National Champion horse trainer and breeder.

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber is a best-selling Christian author, speaker, and coach who helps people accomplish God's unique purpose for them and advance His kingdom on earth. She's also a retired World and National Champion horse trainer and breeder.

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