Then God said, “Go to this 10-Hour Meeting?” “Ummm….God….I Don’t Mean to Complain, But….Are You Sure This is What You Meant By Full Time Ministry?”
Sometimes, following God’s plans for our life does not turn out exactly like we imagined. I remember being in Bible college over a decade ago and hearing someone in chapel say this: “In 15 years, less than 75% of you will still be in full-time ministry. So think of your 3 closest friends. If you think all of them will still be in ministry full-time, then guess what – it’ll be you whose not!” Bad statistical analysis aside, I remember thinking to myself that I wouldn’t be the one to fail God by walking away from my calling to full time ministry. Boy how my perspective has changed.
Fast forward fifteen years, and I just finished up two days full of meetings with some high-powered business professionals, in preparation for two more days full of meeting with even more high-powered business professionals. I am not exaggerating either – I literally had thirteen hours of meetings in the last two work days. But here is where it gets weird: I know that I am in the center of God’s will for my career right now. I also know that I am still called to be in the ministry. How’s that work?
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but here are some thoughts on this. It’s pretty easy to draw a hard line between paid professional Christians AKA pastors and “everyone else” too quickly, and even to think it’s in the Bible somewhere. Too bad you cannot really find it anywhere.
Rather you see that –
we are all called to be priests,
we are all given spiritual gifts,
we are all responsible for exercising discipline,
we are all expected to move from glory to glory,
we are to grow in maturity until we are not moved by every wind or wave of doctrine,
we are all called equally to be co-heirs with Christ in His kingdom.
Think on this last one for just a moment – seriously, stop reading this blog and think about this – CALLED EQUALLY TO BE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST IN HIS KINGDOM. Perhaps we ought to take the title sons and daughter of God more seriously than we do, because it seems like God does.
Instead, we settle for so much less, we settle for the idea that our tithe pays the salaries for the brightest of us to do the ministry, to serve us, to sing to us, to speak to us, to teach us, to motivate us to live better lives. It is as if we expect the paid professionals to life their lives for Jesus, so we don’t have to. Frank Viola has a lot to say about this, and says it better than me, so I would point you to his blog to get a better grasp on this radical but true idea.
But I digress – how does this relate to two days meetings, and how do two days of meetings relate to ministry? The Sermon on the Mount helps here:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Jesus
The boardrooms of the business world are a pretty dark place, and far too few thoughtful followers of Christ carry His light into this particular dark corner of the world. I just spent thirteen hours trying to shine the light of Jesus into a pretty dark place. I am trying to pick up the mantle of the priesthood, to walk into the call to ministry, to grow into maturity. Sometimes, I grabbed that bowl and hid my lamp, I am more than a little ashamed to say. It is difficult to always stand for righteousness, to stand apart, to stay pure, to demonstrate the love of God to broken and cruel people. My hope is that the light of God outshined the darkness of me.
No guilt trips here, but just an honest question, and perhaps some self-reflection. Where are you carrying your light as a member of the royal priesthood of the tribe of David? Are you stepping into your call to ministry, or letting the professionals do all the work? I’d love to hear your story, of how you are sharing the kindness of Christ in your daily life, so please share.