This year I have been blessed with an opportunity to live my faith through ministry, specifically peer ministry. I live in a college residence hall, where I minister to young women who are my age or younger. I create events for community bonding, host night prayer, and lead a Renew group - a weekly faith sharing group that talks about the Gospel. In addition, I pray for my residents, foster individual relationships with each one, and aim to help them grow in burning desire for Christ. How do I do all of this, you might ask? Being a busy college student with a job and a full course load, I pray…often. Also, I understand the importance of an invitation. Peer ministry is about personal invitation. Asking someone to join me at Renew, or to come along with me to night prayer, or telling them about Mass is how I send out my invitation on a daily basis. This invitation is designed specifically for each of my residents, but anyone can be invited! We are all called to invite.
In this new year, I am trying to connect my ministry through the example of our Holy Father and his approach to the New Evangelization. Sending out an invitation is the first step in this mission. Often, someone longs for inclusion and it can be as easy as letting them in. The other step that I am trying to embody in my ministry finds its roots in the Gospel of Matthew: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt 22: 37-39). For myself, the New Evangelization challenges me to reach out and love all of my brothers and sisters, maybe even in ways I’ve never thought of before. It challenges me to fit my 21st century college culture into connections with the Gospel and traditions of my faith. We are all called to love.
Finally, ministry is a call for us to, "Follow [Him], and [He] will make you fishers of men" (Matt 4: 19). Each of us is called to be a witness to the Word, each of us is called to be the hands and feet of Christ to others, and each of us has the ability to do so. There are five easy ways to begin your own ministry if you don’t know where to start!
1. Smile and say, Hello.
2. Ask how someone is doing.
4. Respond lovingly.
5. Say a prayer for them.
I have been blessed this year with a way of life that enables ministry to my peers, but it also has helped shape my own faith in Christ and my personal humility. So, now I invite you to go and grow in your own faith! We are called to minister to others and this ministry brings us closer to Christ.
Krissy Kirby is a Senior Early Childhood Education Major and Resident Minister at The Catholic University of America