I work to earn money so that I can work in ministry. I need my paying job because my ministry job doesn’t pay, but my ministry job is my direct response to God’s call. I sometimes struggle to find perfect ways to be completely poured out and committed to that call, but I do know that it must be what shapes my plans. For me, that means that I work during the day at my ministry office and evenings, weekends and other odd times for money. Sometimes it gets messy. I want my pursuit of God and His glory, in every nation, to be my family’s first priority. I also want the world to see that our response to God is more important than any other job we do. I can think of lots of things that can and should be compromised or sacrificed. If God is real, little else matters. I find no acceptable compromise on this point. God should get the first and best of us. Even better, God graciously gives us the privilege of participating in his work. I’m that loser who got the job he didn’t deserve. I don’t want ministry to become that thing I do when I have “free time”.
My priorities will be evident in how I use my time and resources and they are evident even when I don’t want them to be. I won’t build my life around some desire for comfort and security. God must be at the center. I know that makes me look radical and I’m O.K. with that.
I am sensitive to the fact that I (and others like me) are able to do ministry because of the generous support we receive from people who work paying jobs. I also think that others find a perfect match between working for money while responding to God. I’m not always sure of what to think about that. I am sure that it’s great that there is diversity in our roles as we each understand differently how to respond to God.