Quick question. What is your profession?
Did you answer, “I’m a minister”? I’m guessing most of you didn’t.
Obviously, I can’t hear your response. But in any case, I need you to rethink your answer.
This might be a little disconcerting, but you’re not what you think you are.
When mentioning ministry, we almost always imagine a person serving in a religious capacity. Whether it’s preaching a sermon, feeding the homeless, or evangelizing in a foreign country, we assume that ministers work for a church of some type, and that their work is distinct from other everyday professions. After all, being a minister means doing good in the name of your faith, right?
Perhaps in our modern definition, yes. But dig deeper into the history of the word, and you’ll find that faith has little to do with it.
The first appearance of a minister in the English form of the term appeared in the 14th century, and it referred to the servants of a household – which at that time included musicians.
Minister. c.1300 “one who acts upon the authority of another,” from Old French menistre “servant, valet, member of a household staff, administrator, musician, minstrel” Online Etymology Dictionary
In other words, if you were an employed musician, worker, or artist, you were a minister. Even in the Bible, the common translation of the Greek word for ‘minister’ is ‘officer’ or ‘servant’.
So every time you play, perform, or provide a service to someone, you are acting as a minister.
I’ll let you answer those questions for yourself. But if you’re an artist, you probably realize now why this is important.
It’s because you, the everyday artist, have an inner drive to share your gift. A servant without a person to serve is a purposeless servant. You would feel empty inside if no one ever saw or heard what you have to offer.
When you connect with your artistic lineage as a servant, you can truly enjoy your gift for what it is – an opportunity to provide life, joy, and healing to others through your art.
No, the term “minister” may not be in your job description.
However, it is in your purpose.