Blog Post #1: What is Ministry?

By Rebecca Zickefoose

April 9, 2013

Blog Post #1: What is Ministry?

The act of serving.

The definition of ministry is a simple one. According to Webster’s Online (my go-to source for all things etymological and linguistic,) the meaning of ministry is n. the act of serving. This one little word with its simple definition, however, encompasses a depth of meaning to us at The Pump House Ministries.

Many connotations may pop into your head upon first hearing the word ministry, some positive, some not so positive. The first impression I have when hearing “ministry” is that of church, Christianity, helping, assistance, poor, and piousness. I picture both big, showy acts of niceness in the name of Jesus and small acts of niceness in the name of Jesus. Each of these words, in turn, can conjure both positive and negative thoughts, feelings, and impressions to a person, including me.

Being part of a ministry, my intention is to perform those acts of serving for not for the goal of seeming positive or negative, or to leave an impression good or bad. My goal is to do what I can to help with an open and honest heart and if that leaves a good impression with someone it’s a bonus, if it doesn’t leave a good impression, so be it. As long as I know at the end of the day I did what I could with all the wisdom, strength, caring, fortitude, and thoughtfulness that I had in me and I did it with truth and honesty.

This is not just a personal goal. This is what The Pump House is all about in the first place. So the question then begets what IS our ministry?

Our mission statement at the Pump House is: Showing God’s Love in Practical Ways.

That’s all well and good and sounds pretty but how do we do that?

We do this by providing basic needs to those who need them. When you think of “most basic needs” it always goes back to two things: Food & Shelter. We have a food pantry ministry that operates twice a month for those families who need the extra help. We also have a men’s shelter on the premises that offers the most basic food and shelter to those men who find themselves in need of it. Each person who comes through our door has a different variation on those most basic needs and we do the best we can to take each person’s specific need and try to meet it.

Our ministries go beyond our physical walls as well. Sustainable water in Kenya and supporting an ever-growing women’s ministry are part of our daily work here at the Pump House because we believe all people are important and worth helping if the opportunity arises. In these ways we have discovered opportunities to help and through prayer and trusting God in our hearts we have sought to reach the people we can reach.

We also minister in the less obvious form of small business. “Business” sounds like it should be the opposite of ministry but here at our ministry we believe ministry and Jesus happen most effectively in day-to-day life. We use our small businesses as venues for earning jobs, job training, offering retribution in the form of community service, accountability, and as a way to self fund our ministry. Not that one can’t experience profound moments, but we believe that sort of thing grows on you by just doing and being and acting the way one person should to another. We believe depicting values of hard work, dependability, focus, drive, listening, accountability, and setting boundaries is the best way to minister Jesus to people. We believe in not saying “This is what Jesus would do” and instead just doing it. Pay attention to people. Listen to what they say and don’t say. Hold them accountable for their actions and words. Hold ourselves accountable for the same. Put thought in to every decision. Be tough when we have to. Say no when we have to. Create boundaries. Be firm. Create relationships. Take the time and do the work involved. Get to know one another. Treat EVERYONE with respect. Be brave. Become family. Be genuine. Be honest.

Be this and the rest falls into place. Taking action is possible.

For us, the best way to take action is by giving back to the community. We are family within our walls and we strive to be a part of the community family by giving back. Every person in a community, every business, every organization, every service-oriented club or group has a way they can get involved. We believe that being a part of the community is an important step both in doing ministry and in spreading ministry. We meet other business owners and community members and figure out how to collaborate: whether it be allowing SWAT and the Fire Dept use our buildings for training maneuvers, allowing bands to use our buildings as backdrops for photos and videos, gathering and giving away coats in the winter and passing our excess to another ministry to do the same, collecting and collaborating for disaster relief, or serving meals, we want to be here for you, our community, our people, all people.

This idea of ministry, that it’s the small day-to-day, seemingly simple but in truth deeply thoughtful, actions is the definition of the Pump House.

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