4 Ministry Lessons I Learned from a Small-Town Saint

Tilly Dillehay | January 7, 2017


A few weeks ago, a dear lady at my church was laid to rest after battling aggressive cancer for more than a year.

At the packed-out memorial service, I heard person after person tell stories about Vera—her friendship and love, secret acts of service she’d performed, and the gentle way she’d spoken of her hope in Christ during her final months. Suddenly it seemed everyone was coming out of the woodwork, remembering this quiet lady’s way of serving others with a steady, personal, behind-the-scenes kind of love.

Weeks after Vera’s death, I’m still feeling convicted about the state of my own ministry. I’ve wondered: How can I grow from where I am—a woman in her late 20s, raising a small child and carrying another, just trying to get in a good night’s sleep, a little Bible reading, and a meal on the table each night? How can I begin to acquire the habits of personal interaction that will allow me to know, love, and serve others well?

Reflections on Vera’s life have given me a few key pointers. 

1. Personal ministry begins in the family.

Vera’s daughters bore witness to the comprehensive, but essentially domestic, nature of her ministry. She may have known and served many…


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