During the school year my ministry with children had a very well-defined structure since they would come by the Church for Bible Club after school at 3:00. Occasionally we would play a game or have another story later, but everybody knew things started at 3:00.
As you can imagine the summer schedule is a lot more random, so although the kids promised to still come at 3:00, nobody did. Of course I don’t blame the kids for this because they are no longer around the Church at that time, but the fact that summertime doesn’t really have a set schedule makes ministering to them difficult.
After thinking and praying about how the Lord would have me reach the children of Barrouallie during the summer months He led me to make a difficult decision….
And I made the Church my office.
During the school year most of my ministry work  would be done at home because it offered privacy
- That privacy also meant I could focus my attention on things without being distracted 
- Allowed me to work freely with all of my tools (laptop, books, electronics) without worrying about them being taken
- And I was even able to rest or take a quick nap if needed
When the Church became my office the privacy was taken away since anybody walking by can see the doors open (yes I can close the doors but keep them open for ventilation purposes, it helps make things a lot cooler). And of course there are challenges with this loss of privacy since it means my sermon prep or Bible study in the morning is constantly interrupted. But in a deeper sense sacrificing my privacy is a blessing hands control of my ministry over to God.
For the first week after school I tried to find where the children went during the day and give them Bible stories there, invited everyone to my house for a Bible club, and wore myself out trying to minister to them…but by the end of the week was frustrated, but physically exhausted.
It occurred to me that weekend maybe instead of trying to “find the children” I should focus on things like Bible study and writing at a place where the children can find me.
Since starting this four to five kids come by every morning for a Bible story, and I’m able to have a conversation with them about the Gospel. The funny thing is this ministry is totally random since they come at different times almost every morning, but the Bible stories have a much greater impact because instead of teaching ten kids (and trying to keep their attention) I’m looking one or two of them right in the eyes.
There is a sense where kids come to play my tablet (they get two lives after the Bible story) but I truly believe the come because God sends them, instead of my finding children and bringing them there myself.
There is a need for privacy of course which is why I am only at the Church during certain hours (9:00–12:00 AM, 3:00–5:00 pm). While kids do come by the house often I will tell them we can’t do anything till later, and my time there is closely defended, especially 1:00–1:30 because thats nap-time 🙂
The Lord is helping me see theres a place for privacy in ministry, but also a place for leaving the doors wide open. Those open doors then give God an opportunity to bring the people he wants into our lives
Yesterday around 4:30 a man walked into the Church while I studied the book of Mark and asked about our prayer meeting on Thursday night. He sat down and we ended up talking for about 45 minutes about the Gospel, and where he would spend eternity (the man knows Scripture but isn’t truly saved). After we prayed together and he left I thanked the Lord for my loss of privacy because he wouldn’t have come to my house and asked that question, therefore I wouldn’t be able to share Christ with him.
There is a place for planned ministry but I’m grateful for the opportunity sometimes the greatest thing we can do is leave the door open, and allow God to bring who He wants.