Latter-day Saint Life

3 hurdles that keep us from ministering—and how to get over them

Screenshot 2024-05-21 at 11.13.00 AM.png
Some of the things that almost stopped me from ministering turned into the greatest blessings.
Getty Images

We all can find reasons not to participate in our ministering assignments. But have you had any experiences with ministering that have changed you for the better? I know I have! In fact, some of the things that almost stopped me from ministering turned into the greatest blessings! Here are a few examples.

Hurdle 1: Age Gaps

For me, this is truly just a mental hurdle. Once I fully committed to the idea that age is truly “just a number”, I was so surprised at how much I have in common with sisters 20 years older than me—and sweet ministering companions who are 20 years younger than me! And it’s led to some beautiful, significant relationships.

► You may also like: The old gardening strategy that helped me see the beauty in generational unity

Hurdle 2: Finding the Time

This one is a doozy. For all of us.

What has helped me push past feeling like I don’t have time is remembering how great it feels to minister to others. It’s like going to the gym or any other hard thing—it takes effort, it’s not always fun at first, but the payoff feels great. I can honestly say that some of my best friends have come from ministering assignments, so I count that as a huge win. Remembering that has motivated me to keep ministering (a.k.a. making new friends).

Hurdle 3: A Fear of Coming Across as “Just Checking a Box”

One thing that has helped me overcome this fear is considering my reason for ministering. Am I doing this just to check a box? Or am I doing this because I want these women to feel loved? Then I ask God, Is there something I can do to help these women feel loved? Taking time to ponder these questions helps me recenter and feel confident as I move forward in my efforts.

I also think it is important to remember that ministering may look different every single time. Last week in my ward, ministering looked like my neighbor sharing her extra seeds and dahlia starts for spring planting. It was my husband sending cookies to a family on their deceased son’s birthday, letting them know we were thinking of them and remembering him.

In the words of Sister Jean B. Bingham, “It looks like going for a walk, getting together for a game night, offering service, or even serving together. It looks like visiting in person or talking on the phone or chatting online or texting. It looks like delivering a birthday card and cheering at a soccer game. It looks like sharing a scripture or quote from a conference talk that would be meaningful to that individual. It looks like discussing a gospel question and sharing testimony to bring clarity and peace. It looks like becoming part of someone’s life and caring about him or her.”

There are infinite examples of what ministering to others might look like. The important thing is that you are in tune with the Spirit and minister without fear of “failure” or “doing it wrong”, knowing that God will bless you for your efforts.

Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content