Often times, we think that we need to be "doing something" in ministry. We feel like in order to make a difference, we have to be serving someone, praying for someone, buying a meal, etc. However, one of the greatest ministries is the ministry of presence.
We see a great example of the ministry of presence from Mary Magdalene at the time of the crucifixion. Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' closest friends. She completely bought into the mission of Jesus and followed Him along with the other disciples. John 19:25 says, "near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."
There was not a thing that Mary Magdalene could do to help Jesus. She could not give him anything to drink, she could not get him off the cross, she could not stop the mocking or the beating. She was completely helpless; all she could do was be present. Jesus must have found comfort in seeing Mary and knowing she was there. That is the ministry of presence.
How many times in our ministries do we feel helpless? We want to be doing something but we just can't. Sometimes, the best thing is to be present.