Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time, time, time...

Ministry can be a burden sometimes, no matter how much or how little your involved in it...and especially if you’re bi-vocational so I’d like to offer some tips. I’ve learned these things for myself over the years and I think they will increase your effectiveness as ministers and your enjoyment; both of your job and life in general.

1. Try to remember that ministry (your work) is time with God and not time away from something you’d rather be doing.

a. This makes ministry incredibly fulfilling and worthwhile.

b. It also changes our perspective of work (you mean I can get paid to be with God!)

2. DON’T separate “work” from “life”

a. Remember that you have a "calling" not a job. There's a difference. Many pastors will tell you, “try to find a way to turn it off, to stop thinking about “work” after you leave for the day.” I respectfully disagree. In fact I think living your calling instead of working it takes away the enemy’s opportunity to tell you it’s a burden and something you should try and get away from.

3. As much as possible blend life and work.

a. I try and add to my life with the things I think are valuable to engage in as a minister. For instance, I like to eat. I know I will eat. I try, as much as possible to blend what I need to do with the things I like to do (eating, going to the movies, hanging out with people, etc.). I find that not only does this make my work more enjoyable (playing chess with Ben while I mentor him, for example) but it also builds our relationship to be more than just “Pastor – Pastored” to friends. This is extremely valuable when you have to say things to people they really don’t want to hear.

4. DON’T count hours as "days" or "nights"
a. I know we’re all very busy, no question, but I am constantly astonished when people count an hour as a day, or an hour as a night. Here’s what I mean, we have Bible study Wednesday nights. It lasts (for us) from 6:45 until 8:15. That’s an hour and a half. That’s the reality. I think more and more we are prone to say, “Well, Wednesday night is shot!”. Not only is that not true, but it begins to make our days and weeks become so much smaller than they are. We become much less productive and the “work” we engage in begins to seem stifling. Don’t give the enemy this advantage. Count time as it is and you’ll see how much time you do actually have. It’s a freeing experience.

Anyways, hope these help you close a few doors to the enemy Thank you for all you do and God bless you in your ministries and your lives; may they become more and more one and the same.


  1. Oh yeah, No. 4 is so so so true.

  2. Pastor Mike can you go into more detail on #2 for me. not too sure what you're saying or mean. i kind of do, but not really. thanks

  3. Refering to Jason's question: many people think of life in terms of two separate functions, "work" which is what we do for a living and "actual life", as if the two separate.

    That may be be so for some but not for those "called" into the ministry. A "calling" is simply God saying, "This is what I want you to do with your 'life'."

    For us the two are one and to separate them, to say from these hours to these hours is to cheapen what God has asked from us; to say, "Sure God, thsi part of my life is yours...but this part belongs to me."

    God has called us to a life not a job.

    When we begin to give in to thinking of our calling as the world thinks of their jobs we find ministry becoming more and more of a burden because what we're really saying is, "this job is infringing on my 'life'."

    Don't separate them. Understand that they are one thingand make your calling your "life". This will make ministry more effective, more beneficial to those God has given you the opportunity to serve, and far less of a burden.

  4. Ya, I totally get that. My "job" is getting in the way of my "life" (ministry). Buuuut, such is my calling right now, and I'm okay with that (I'm sure God is relieved to hear that).

  5. The first two points especially speak to an important fact: calling is not just a question of assignment, but identity. It's more about who we are than what we're supposed to do.

    The tasks may change, but the fact that we're called at all means that we belong to God. That goes way deeper than just a job.