By James Dillet Freeman
What does it mean to be a minister?
It means to make yourself small so that others may feel large.
It means to make yourself a servant so that others may feel their mastery.
It means to give so that those who lack may receive.
It means to love so that those who feel unloved may have someone who never rejects them, someone with whom they can always identify themselves.
It means to hold out your help to those who ask and deserve help, and also to those who do not ask or deserve it. It means always to be there when you are needed, yet never to press yourself on another when you are not wanted.
It means to stay at peace so that those who are contentious will have someone to whom they can turn to stabilize themselves.
It means to keep a cheerful outlook so that those who are easily cast down may have someone to lift them up.
It means to keep faith, and to keep on keeping faith even when you yourself find little reason for believing, so that those who have no faith can find the courage to live.
It means not merely to live a life of prayer, but to turn your prayers into life—more life for you, more life for those to whom you minister.
It means to be God-centered and human-hearted, to involve yourself in man's humanity and to keep your vision on man's divinity—and so draw forth in all around you the human form divine.
It means to share in the great moments of men's lives—in birth and sickness and marriage and death—and at all these times, whether of crisis or of celebration, to bring comfort and a blessing, and above all a sense of a Presence that sometimes we cannot see and of a Meaning that often we overlook.
This is what it means to be a minister of God and a minister to man.