“–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 NLT


Ceramic seems to be all the rage right now for cooking utensils.  From knives to pans, ceramic is the new Teflon.


I gave in. I bought one…, a ceramic fry pan.


Got it home, unwrapped it and discovered that I couldn’t use it right away.  Not simply because it had to be washed, but because it needed to be seasoned.


I was disappointed.  But, I followed the directions and did each and every step they said.  I readied it for use.

 photo: Renae Bowman

And in the directions, I saw my version of the M-word.


You know the M-word?


It’s the word that gets Christians (and non) a bit uptight.


The M-word—ministry; a fancy, stained-glass term.


I looked up the word ministry, as it relates to the Bible, and found the Greek lexicon is diakonia.  The word is interchangeable between service and ministry.  It means the same thing.


And there is where my fry-pan and the Bible came together.


Did you know that the original 12 disciples shunned the Apostle Paul?  Did you know that they would not allow him in their presence for a long while?  (Acts 9:26) Why?  Because they didn’t trust him as far as they could throw him.  Remember, Paul was Saul, and Saul liked killing…anything…and anyone…especially Christians.  Good reason to keep him away.


Paul had some seasoning to do after he found the Lord.  We are told that after his conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul went away for three years (Galatians 1:18).


And those other 12, well they had their “down time”, too.


Do you see the connection to the pan? It was no use to my kitchen without the seasoning.  Paul was no use to God without his seasoning.  And us, well we are little use to God without seasoning.


I’ve certainly have had mine.


Amongst other things, I had to learn how to serve in the fringes, first.


That meant I served cookies.  (hang in there with me on this one!)


I had a prompting to step up, but had no idea how.  I didn’t have it in me, yet, to get up in front of crowds, or put my words to a blog post, or lead any sort of groups.  But in my church bulletin, I saw a request to help serve cookies on Sundays.   And there I began.   Ok, I had ulterior motives of getting the pick of the pastries before the crowds showed up, but nonetheless I stepped out of my little comfort box, to serve.


And here I am today. Hopefully, serving some of you with words of encouragement.


But I’m not the only one. A very close friend told me of her “answering the call” moment.  Do you know what she’s doing?  She’s running the computer in the back of her church so many can see the discussed verses on the front screen.  She had no clue about computers, but saw the request and gave it a shot.  Scared as begeezees when she started, but LOVES her position now.

And another friend…well she went down the list of what she could do and became discouraged for sometime, until she saw the call for a baking ministry.  She is sooooo in her element now.   For both of these women, they are exactly where God wants them to be as they are being seasoned in serving others.  Who knows what the future holds for them?


He came to this earth to serve.


He left His throne as King, to serve the lowest of lows.


He calls us to serve others.


And there, is the definition of ministry.  Not waiting only to stand behind a fancy podium, or giving weekly broadcasts across the airwaves, or even writing devotionals…but maybe just serving cookies.


This isn’t a writing to spread guilt.  You may be up to your eyeballs in “life” and can’t spare any extra minutes.  Been there, done that.  It is, however a reminder that if you feel a prompting to serve outside of your family, don’t discount it. You may just be receiving a nudging from the Holy Spirit to begin your seasoning.  Let’s change that illusive M-word back into simply…service.  It’s what we are called to do.


Happy fry-panning!



12 Replies

  1. Carrie

    As someone who is up to her “eyeballs with life”, I think it’s so important to give back .To be Gods hands and feet whenever we’re given an opportunity to & seek out opportunities as well. Even if it is something as simple as serving cookies! Who knows what starting off that one small task carries for you in the future?! You are an awesome example of that! Gosh, I cannot tell you what a impact you and Raye have had in my life!! Thank God you served those cookies!! 😉
    I do my own little thing myself by helping a woman named Lola who came here from Pakistan only to be treated as a slave by her now ex husband. It took great courage for her to leave this horrible man but she did it and it’s awesome to be a part of her growth & witness her excitement to learn more about God and His Word.

    1. Carrie, Raye and I have enjoyed seeing such a huge growth in your life and walk. Thank you for the kind words. Your friendship and example to Lola must be priceless to her. I believe God uses us in all forms of service–from cookies to support. It’s the obedience that matters. Thank you for stopping by and chatting.

  2. Lori Perez

    Renae that is so funny how you talked about serving the cookies. For the last month this idea has been going in my mind about having baked goods at church for people to buy and the profit could help the church or one of the many ministry projects that we do. You know how I love to bake. I might just have to pray on it a little bit more and see where the Lord puts me. I have always wondered where the Lord would want me to serve him besides what I already do at home.

    1. You will find your niche Lori when you step out. God always has a plan at work, it is up to us to listen intently…and then act upon it. If just one person at your church could taste your cookies, I’m sure you will be in high demand! thank you chatting.

  3. Diane

    That ceramic pan will last a lot longer than the Teflon pan. . .it can take the heat. Seasoning takes high lasting heat. . .and oh look at us now. With all the testing and trying we go through at Christians, like Paul, it withstands and lasts. . .what a lovely word picture for what it takes to last.

    It all makes sense to me now. . .and is worth it.

    1. Seasoning takes the heat…great words Diane! That, too, is a great reminder. With our preparation comes perseverance.

  4. Devery

    When you can see God, and all that relates to Him, even in a frying pan, well Sister, now you are cooking!

    1. My kind of humor!!! Love it Devery. Just think if we would stop and see him in everything how different this world would be. So, I’ll start with a frying pan! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Chrissy

    Serving cookies, the Lord is so “sweet” (pun intended) in how He encouraged you to serve Him by serving others. I have SO loved watching you grow.

    1. Well, you’ve had a front row seat from the very beginning! Thanks for stopping by Chrissy.

  6. Elaine

    What a great message for the day after Easter! There was no guilt in your words, just eagerness to see what the Lord has for us to do, being His hands, His ears, His eyes and His lips each and every day. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Elaine. You’re right, there is eagerness in seeing what He will have us do for the day! We are the vessels–to be used endlessly!

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