I think if we are not careful we can miss out on some important things because we caught up in our selfishness. Or we caught up in the rhythms of life.
A full-time job in ministry is not just a job. I am sure you have heard of that before. But it is not. And that is where we can miss out and get frustrated if we do not have the right perspective on it. If we don’t have the right heart posture in it. No one is forcing you to be in ministry. Ministry is a choice that we willingly say yes to. So, in this short post, I want to bring you back to remembrance of what it means to be full-time in. a vocational ministry position. And if you are looking to get into a full-time ministry position, I hope this brings some clarity to you and encourages you. At the end of the day, it is always only about Jesus. Always Him. No us.
What have I learned about ministry lately?
If you are in full-time vocational ministry, this is something that you are choosing to do. This is something that is big deal. This is something that is not just a career, and if we view it as a career we aren’t going to make it at all.
Vocational ministry can’t be something we view as our job. Because when we view it as a job, we will treat it as a job.
Oh, it’s after hours? No thank you.
Oh, it’s my day off? Not happening.
Oh, it’s outside of my title description? Not my responsibility.
When we view our ministry as our career, we will treat it as exactly that. Even unintentionally. Am I saying we neglect our personal health and never have days off or personal time? No. But what I am saying is that ministry is more than a job and if that is something you cannot commit to, then don’t accept that position.
I have learned my ministry and my life are not two separate entities. But my ministry actually goes hand in hand WITH my life and the two coincide together. When I treat my ministry as a job, then I will be frustrated when it falls on one of my “days off”. When I treat my ministry as a job, then I will grow bitter when I am inconvenienced with something I didn’t necessarily sign up for. When I treat my ministry as a job, I will view people as numbers and forget about the human soul that is within them. When I treat my ministry as a job, then my heart availability is conditional upon my work hours.
My ministry is not a job that is separate from my life. But my ministry is a PART of my life and a very important part of it. When we say yes to that full-time position, we are saying yes to sacrifice. We are saying yes to something that is bigger than ourselves. We are saying yes to the late-night calls. We are saying yes to inconvenience on our off days. We are saying yes to filling in the gap for what hurting people need. When we try to keep our ministry separate from who we are – we are going to find ourselves frustrated, bitter, resentful and inconsistent.
I am not saying we become robots and we live and breathe every moment for our ministry position. Because… well, that’s unhealthy. But what I am saying is this. Vocational ministry is absolutely a sacrifice that we willingly say yes to. And if you are not willing to be inconvenienced at times and you are not willing to sacrifice some of your preferences, then don’t take that position.
Ministry is hard. I’ll say it for all of us. It is. But there is nothing in this world that is more rewarding than knowing that there is something bigger than ourselves that we’re serving. Nothing more rewarding knowing that we get to use our stories for the benefit of others. Nothing more rewarding than being able to be that person we wish we always had to someone else.
Is ministry hard? Sure.
Does it take sacrifice? Oh yeah.
Will you be tired at times? You bet.
But is it worth it? No doubt.
Our ministry is not a job that is separate from our life. But our ministry is a PART of our life.
Take your personal days to stay healthy, please. Take those vacation days. Prioritize your family.
But don’t let a calling turn into a career and in return live in resentment. Let us never overlook the gift in using our lives to help others in theirs. There is power in your commitment, my friend.
It will be tough at times. But what in life isn’t tough? Anything worth having is hard at times. There is nothing in this world that comes easy other than compromise. And compromise is not what you want to be effective. Compromise is not what you need to get you to where you know you need to be. Anything worth having will take effort. It takes sacrifice. It takes commitment.
5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:1-11