Monday, December 28, 2009

I want to go in full time ministry because...

Blogger and church/ministry analyst   Steven Acosta at The Church in America has given me permission to re-print his excellent blog post,  "I want to go in full time ministry because..."

 There's a lot to think about in this post if you are someone who is considering full time ministry.   I couldn't wait to share it.  Thank you, Steven for allowing me to.  Here goes...

So you want to go into full time ministry. Are you qualified? Have you taken the assessment tests? Lets look at some reasons people give when asked, “why do you want to go into full time ministry?” I also have added questions you should be asking yourselves. They are blunt and to the point. Don’t ignore them.

I want to go into full time ministry because….

1. “I love the Lord” -

Yet what have I done the last two days to show it?  Is it just an emotional response or is there more to this?

2. “I want to see people come to Christ” -

Yet what did I do this week to help people come to Christ? If I’m not making a difference now with all the people that are around me, what makes me think I will in the future by getting on a church staff or becoming a pastor?

3. “It’s the career I would like to pursue’ (Yes, I hear this one a lot) -

Am I pursuing Jesus or going on a job search?  Anyways, I could make better career choices. I hear the pay is terrible and I’d always be on call.

4. “So I can serve the Lord full time” -

Am I a part time Christian now? What is it I’m trying to really say?

5. “I believe God is calling me into full time ministry” -

Do I really believe this or am I making a decision based on other factors?  Doesn’t it make more sense to work 24/7 among “the world” where people need Jesus the most , than to work 8 to 10 hours a day with believers who don’t?  Am I just being self centered?

6. “I’m unhappy where I am working now” - (Yes I hear this one often too.)

Is the grass greenest on the other side or where I cultivate it? Anyway, Talk about a bad day. I hear Peter died hanging upside down.

OK OK… I must admit. The opportunity of having the time and paycheck to do full time ministry does sound good. Well,.. unless your in a country where they chop your head off or torture you to death.

Can I be blunt here?  I’ve seen too many burn outs and disillusioned people leave the ministry for me to dance around the obvious.

The grass is not greener on the other side. Thinking we can do more for the kingdom of God if we were on staff at a local Church or ministry is a journey in futility.

Most of the time we are simply exchanging one job for another. At some point you will probably find yourself spending more time doing the opposite of what you originally got into ministry for.

Thinking the ministry title such as “Pastor or Teacher” gets us more credibility when we try to influence people is highly overrated. People follow leaders. Not titles. “Bosses tell people what they should do, leaders show people how its done.

I tell this to everyone who come to me wanting to pursue full time ministry.

“Are you doing full time ministry now?”. If you are effectively doing full time ministry in the environment you are in now, the sheer force of the task you are doing will move you to it’s desired course. You will have no choice in the matter of where to go. It will be as a natural flow of water in a stream. Not even the rocks and obstacles can stop it. It’s a rush and frightening at the same time because it will always be bigger than you.”

I hope this site can give you the tools to do effective ministry now. But don’t wait. The best place to start is where you live life. See where it takes you.


Deanna here again:   Welcome back to everyone who was gone from blog reading for the holidays.    I've been posting the whole time you were gone so go back and check out what you missed!  :)  xoxo

5 comments:

Ruth, PA said...

Deanna,
I enjoyed your blog over the holiday!

A professor in Bible college gave a similar lecture. His words, "How are you going to pastor a church, lead a youth group, or be a missionary when you won't even share Christ with your next door neighbor?" Very powerful!

BTW...your blog is a high point of my morning! Always am blessed and encouraged! xo
Ruth

Leanne said...

You have given me a lot to think about with this post...

Melissa said...

Hmmm, now that is very thought provoking! Thank you for sharing! More to think and pray about!

Deanna said...

Thanks Ruth! You are a gem. I'm so glad we've "met". :) That I'm the high point of your morning is a serious honor.

Leanne - thanks.

Melissa - yep, yep...for sure

Thechurch said...

Deanna,
I'm glad you could use the article. Great to see people reflecting on it. Blessings to you and your family.
Thanks for making a difference.

Steven