Have you heard anyone say, “I think I am going to quit my job and go into the ministry!” Have you ever heard a pastor talk about so-and-so that left the business world to go into full-time ministry? Has anyone ever told you that you should not be in business, but should be in full-time Christian ministry?
“The” Christian Ministry
So, what is all the fuss over “the” ministry? What exactly do you have to do to qualify for Christian ministry? What exactly is full-time ministry? Is it something you must be called to do?
Well, if you listen to most people, full-time Christian ministry is being employed and getting paid by a church or other ministry organization. Most people have the idea that you must leave whatever secular job you may have if you want to do Christian ministry. The two cannot exist together in the same job.
How Do You See It?
Do you think this way?
Assume you and I are sitting next to each other on a plane and we start up a conversation. During the course of this conversation, you ask me what I do. If I respond that I am in full-time Christian ministry, what would you assume I do? Would your next question be related to what church or church organization I work for?
If this would be your assumption, then you are among many who would think the same. However, I think Christian ministry applies to more than just the paid church staff.
Christian Ministry Is For Everyone
Christian ministry is something we are all commanded to do. When Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, He pointed us to ministry. He failed to qualify that statement by adding, “on Sundays” or “as staff members of the church.” Instead, He meant everyone, everyday.
Folks, YOU are to be in full-time Christian ministry. It is not something reserved for church staff members. It is not something you are only to do when at church on Sundays or Wednesdays. Christian ministry is an attitude and action of serving others…all the time!
I know this is not a common philosophy. I know that your pastor, along with most of your Christian friends, may have a different view. They will not necessarily disagree, but will simply assume a separation between Christian ministry and the business world. That is okay! It really is fine!
You see, we cannot change everyone’s perspective all at once. We cannot expect to explain this idea to a few key people and all of a sudden, everyone realizes they are to be in Christian ministry.
No, we simply need to change our own mindset to embrace full-time Christian ministry right where we are in our current jobs. We need to eliminate the separation in our minds between spiritual activity and secular jobs. We need to begin doing ministry and let others catch on as they will.
Obviously, engaging in Christian ministry can take on many forms. If surveyed people at church, work, or school, you will likely get many answers as well. For the purpose of the discussion now and in future posts, I will tell you what I believe is the root of Christian ministry.
Christian Ministry At The Core
I believe it boils down to two passages of Scripture.
The first is known as the Greatest Commandment. Jesus was asked by an expert in the law which was the greatest commandment. Jesus answered…
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.
The second passage is known as the Great Commission. Some of the very last words Jesus used to instruct his disciples are these…
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Living It Out
When you attempt to live out these two passages, whether in business, as a paid church staff member, or anywhere else you may find yourself, I believe you are doing Christian ministry.
If you would like to see various examples of the methods we have used to live out Christian ministry in our business, check out these posts (Christian Ministry Actions). Maybe you will get some ideas you can use in your business.
I will likely say this many times…we do not have it all figured out. We simply began attempting to act out our faith in the business. You may not agree with all we do. You may think we take it too far or not far enough. Either way, I want to encourage you to think about how you can do something similar where you are.
As we go, I hope you will leave comments and let me know what you are thinking. Who knows, your comment may affect someone else that is reading and seeking answers. Don’t hold back!
Do you agree with this definition of Christian ministry?
What do you do to live it out in your life?
Do you meet resistance? How?