Carter Benge On Mission

_MG_6818This summer as an intern at FBC West Yellowstone, I discovered more about ministry than I bargained for. Let me explain. I have helped with various events from a Kids Day in the Park and a Sports Camp that doubled as a Vacation Bible School, to a weekly chess club and Ultimate Frisbee group. I’ve led Bible Studies, helped plan worship, attended a Mormon meeting at Old Faithful, and scooped more than 1,000 gallons of ice cream at the local creamery. And of course, I have run hundreds of miles alongside rivers and up ten-thousand foot mountains through the beautiful wilderness of the west that surrounds me on all sides.

Throughout much of my life, I have seen ministry put on a schedule. Almost as if, “Ministry will happen from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.” This has always seemed so constraining and overwhelming that I constantly wonder, “Does God want me to be a minister?” But perhaps ministry is something a bit different. This summer, I have had the most real encounters with God in-between my “scheduled ministries” while running with friends in God’s beautiful creation, playing pick-up soccer in the afternoons with the kids in the park, or while sitting at the local espresso bar. These times weren’t planned ministry, but happened in the cracks and crevices of my life because of my presence. Ministry happened when I least expected it. Perhaps ministry is about being present.

So I’ve realized, yes, God wants me to be a minister. I can go sit with a friend at their house. I can listen while we drink coffee. I can go to their basketball game. I can walk with them through life. I can be present. My presence is ministry.

I can be a minister. We can all be ministers.

Carter is the son of Greg and Suzanne Benge and attends Campbell Divinity School