( Stands on soapbox & taps the mic )
Somehow I’ve been in some form of full time ministry for 20 years. That doesn’t even sound right since I’m only 34. But it’s true. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the excellent and the stuff that makes you want to give up all together. Thankfully, even after I’ve seen & experienced various facets of ministry I still love it and feel called to serve in God’s House. I say all that because I encounter A LOT of people who long to be in ministry full time & ask me what its like. So what I am about to share is from my years of serving and leading and cleaning and serving and teaching and singing and crying in corners like a winner. These are the things I tell people who want to be in ministry.
First things first: Don’t chase the stage, chase Jesus!
If you feel called to serve God in full time ministry please stop telling people that you feel called to be a speaker. That’s weird. Jesus never told people that, He served. Jesus was here to be a sacrifice, and so are we. If you feel called do be a pastor, GREAT! Go lead a group, serve in a group and GO love someone. Pastors love & care about people, they’re shepherds! If you feel called to the mission field but your not in Africa or some third-world hot spot, be a missionary in your job or in your home, in your circle. If you enjoy leading people into worship but you can’t make the worship team at your church, that’s okay! Your title and mission have nothing to do with whether or not your in ministry, or on the team, or working for a church. You are the church, so work! So smile, high five someone, pick up some trash, stack a few chairs and serve in a department that you may not feel called to. This my friend will strengthen your heart and build your character. God will open the doors in HIS TIMING and in HIS SEASON. If you lead yourself well THEN and only then will God entrust you with people. Side note: Jesus didn’t spend time building platforms He built and replicated servants. Do the same.
* if your saying to yourself, “I am already doing this!” then AWESOME, keep being faithful. Faithfulness is not a trend, nor is it seasonal, it’s what we’ve been called to.
Secondly: Just cause you CAN in this season doesn’t mean your CALLED to in the next.
You may be an AWESOME singer, songwriter, or teacher. But just because you CAN do those things doesn’t necessarily mean you are CALLED to do that in the church or for the rest of your life. I am sure I’ll get weird emails about this one. But it’s true. One season you may be excelling in one area and serving there but in a next God may have you doing something else. He’s sharpening you on all sides, you just have to be aware to make the twists and turns when the season calls for it. Also, this doesn’t mean you won’t get to do everything you feel led to do, it just means you won’t do them all at the same time. For example, I’ve had SO many different jobs in the church and out of the church and each was specific to the season I was in. Be aware of your season, in spring & summer you may bare fruit, but when fall comes things will turn and by the time winter arrives you will have to rely on your roots. So get planted, get rooted and serve no matter what. God knows the desires of your heart because HE PUT THEM THERE. Trust that He will place you exactly where you are suppose to be no matter the season.
Finally: Ministry isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle.
Nothing boils my blood more than when people wait to do something for God until they work at a church, or before they get a title or platform! I like to tell people that I AM NOT in full time ministry, I’m surrounded by Christians ALL DAY! I was in full-time ministry when I was surrounded by people all day who were lost and needed Jesus. So go to your job tomorrow and pray for that crazy lady in your office. Post less selfies and food pictures on your social media and write something that will impact and influence people. YOU ARE ALREADY in full-time ministry, GO make Jesus famous and love people like Jesus did! When Jesus picked the disciples they were cleaning their nets, they were being faithful where they were and he made fisherman fishers of men. God will elevate you and use what’s in your hand, you just have to stay faithful and realize God can use you right where you are, even if you smell bad, don’t have an education and no one else believes in you. TRUE STORY!
*Also, this isn’t for just people who don’t work at a church or for a ngo, it’s for all of us! We all need reminders that Jesus is all we need, and Jesus is what we NEED to pursue daily.
Seriously, Go make Jesus famous.