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I recently finished a book aimed at church ministry that I think will help anyone in the helping professions, including librarianship. It may be good reading for the inspiring quotes alone.
The book is called â€œYou give them something to eat: Ministering when you think you can'tâ€? by Joe Paprocki, ISBN: 0-87793-655-2, Ave Maria Press.
The author holds up Jesus' feeding of 5000 men and others in Mark 6 as a role model for people to follow in taking up ministry projects even when they can't see how it can be done. Think of it as the ultimate in doing more with less -- â€œFeed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish!â€?
The book is divided into these six chapters:
1. Send them away!: The reluctant minister.
2. YOU give them something to eat!: Assuming Responsibility.
3. How many loaves do you have?: Assessing your resources.
4. The people were neatly arranged: Organizing for ministry.
5. They all ate: Satisfying hungers.
6. They gathered up leftovers: Closure in an ongoing ministry.
Every chapter includes some questions for reflection, some â€œscripture for prayerâ€? and an â€œIn their own words sectionâ€? where people share how they've persevered in the face of short resources or other seemingly daunting obstacles.
One of my favorite quotes from this book is:
â€œPrayer in action is love and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is do something however small and show you care through your actions by giving your time. We are all God's children, so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world, just respond to people's needs. God has been so good to us. What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.â€? -- Mother Teresa, A Simple Path.
Much of this book consists of focusing on what you do have to offer than using your lack to avoid providing service. This is what I think could be useful to people of all faiths. However, it is true that Christians will benefit the most from this book, because another point it makes strongly is that we must ultimately depend on the strength of Christ. We have gifts that we offer to God, but it is God who ultimately does the feeding.