Monday, November 29, 2010

The Ministry of Presence

Dear Friends,

Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia saying, “Come over and help us.” Paul, Timothy, and Luke went. They scrapped a planned evangelistic tour and just went because someone needed them to come over and help them.

It’s time for Stuart and me to take off around the world again. The man of “Macedonia” calls! Ahead there are meetings to attend, airplanes to catch, and people to help, teach, and listen to. We will “weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh.” There will be much to learn about cultures, church around the world, evangelism, mission, Jesus, and myself!

The main thing I am learning is just to go. When I get to wherever we have been invited to be, we are most times met with the same words. In many different languages we hear, “You came! You came! You didn’t send a book, or tapes, clothes or medicine, not even money or Bibles; you came to us!” I have learned this is called “a ministry of presence.” There’s a real need and an invitation to “go over” and help someone. So if it’s possible, you just go. And you know all of us can do this! You don’t have to do it abroad. The man of Macedonia may well live across the street. I’ve been practicing the ministry of presence for years, first in the UK and then in the USA. Just go.

The next thing I have learned once I get there is I need to have “a ministry of silence.” Yes, I’ve gone to talk; that’s what they have invited me to do. But in between, before and after the sessions, over breakfast, lunch, tea, and supper, and sometimes far into the night, I will need to have a ministry of silence. And you know all of us can do this! We talkers, counselors, and teachers need to listen before we lecture, advise, or hand out our biblical anything!

Then, I am learning to have “a ministry of tears.” And do you know something? That’s not hard! How much sorrow there is in our hurting, wounded world! How could we not be reduced to tears? We would need to have a swinging brick in us instead of a heart. If we set ourselves to listen without lecturing, we will find wise and comforting words of instruction when it’s time to use them. And our words will find a ready resting place.

Oh yes, it doesn’t mean there will be no teaching and training. I will be teaching “Ministry of the life of Jesus,” Philippians and Ecclesiastes. I’ll tackle: “How to discern, discover, and do the will of God,” “Women in the life of Jesus,” and, “How to go with God.” There will be lots of other scriptures too, but none of this will be as effective if I haven’t had a ministry of presence, silence, and tears first.

So, as you pray for us, pray we get where we are going! Then pray we have hearts full of love and compassion for the many women and children of “Macedonia” and have a ministry of silence and tears. Then pray for these good folks who cried out “Come over and help us.” Pray for those in Romania, Turkey, India, and Russia that after we have done our going, listening, and weeping, they will be ready to hear the teaching we bring and obey it with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength! Pray they, like all of us wherever we are, will go out and do the same!

I Just Had to Come

I just had to come

Because I want to be like Jesus

I just had to come

So that someone could be near.

I just had to come

And have a ministry of presence

I just had to come

So someone could be here.

Now I just have to stay

And find some way of helping

I just have to stay

And try to do my part.

I just have to stay

And meet you in your sorrow

I just have to stay

And offer you my heart.

I just have to tell you

That the One who sent me to you

Is Jesus of Calvary

Who died to make you whole.

I just had to tell you

That He’s waiting to forgive you

I just had to tell you

That He wants to save your soul.

I just want to say

I’ll carry you to Jesus

And we’ll pray He’ll help and heal.

That I’ll weep and pray and love you

And I’ll show you Jesus cares for you no matter how you feel.

I just had to come

So I could know your heartache

So we can pray together and He will help and heal.


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine


  1. Beautiful. Lord, may I practice the ministry of presence, of love, of tears, of joy, of beautiful, beautiful You. Amen.

  2. Praying for you both as you go, listen and weep, that the Lord will protect your steps and continue to fill you with His wisdom and compassion. Praying that the Lord will continue to teach me to be quick to go, listen and weep as well. Thank you for encouraging my heart, Jill.

  3. I have been on the receiving end of your ministry of came, you listened, you cared! Thank you!