You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:13-16
The older I get the more I've come to believe that ministry is much less about what we do and much more about who we are. I think it is intended to be something that flows freely and pours forth from what God is doing in the depths of our hearts and souls, not something we have to manufacture or manipulate or create--no contriving, no forcing, no holding back (Rilke). I think that's why Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth and we are the light of the world. Salt and light do not have to work real hard to be salt and light, they just have to be what they were intended to be. They have to bring out the flavor of God within them, and illuminate the beauty of God around them. It is the same with us. We're not called to do salt and light, we are called to be salt and light. Being salt and being light are the natural expressions of the life of God in us. If we are living in union with God, if we are falling more and more in love with Jesus each day, it will pour forth from our lives and it will find its way to those in our world. Everyone will taste God's flavor uniquely in us. Everyone will see the beauty of God illuminated by us. All we have to do is to be our true--God breathed--selves. When we are not being who God made us to be--when we are forcing or when we are holding back--we are like salt that has lost its saltiness, or like a light that has been put under a bowl. And what good is that? So instead of constantly trying to figure out how to do ministry, from now on I think I'm going to think more about how to be who and what God has created me to be.