Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Billy just got fired.... and I think it's great.
Actually, he didn't get fired. He still gets to be Pastor of Worship Arts at his church. He just can't get paid for it anymore. He has to go out and get a "real" job and still do his ministry job. Now you may be saying, "Mick, you are one sick sonofagun. How could you wish that on him?"
First off, I didn't. It happened without any input from me.
But it's a great opportunity for him, and I'll tell you why.
It's a challenge. It's a challenge for all of us who are doing ministry, and still working to pay the bills. In a perfect world, all the ministers of the Gospel would be compensated for what they do. But the world is far from perfect. So there are many, many of us who have to toil along in day jobs, night jobs, part time jobs, whatever, and still need to do the Kingdom work that we are called to do. Sometimes, we get fortunate, and our jobs coincide with our ministries. A worship leader who works in the recording industry. A Sunday school teacher who works in education.
But often, we come to ministry late in life, when our career is underway, and it has no real bearing on what we do in minstry. So what are we to do?
It's a great opportunity, because it affords us the chance to see God do His stuff. I have nothing against full-time paid ministry; in fact, I aspire to that someday. But there is something simpler about having that be your entire raison d'etre. When you have to do the juggling act, God can really step in.
I like things that are too hard. Because then I need to rely on God. When Moses sent the spies into the land of Canaan, most of them said that it would be too hard to take the land. But Joshua and Caleb knew that the Lord could do it. It wouldn't be easy. There would be many battles. But God would accomplish what they could not.
Another thing is that it gives us something to look forward to. Eveyone grumbles about their job. But I get to put that aside, and do what I love. And look forward to the day when that's all I have to do. Hopefully, Gospel Light will be growing as quickly as we hope, and that day will come soon.
But, in the meantime, it's just pressing onward. Being bi-vocational means making some tough choices. There's only so much time one can take off from a day job. Should I take a higher-paying job, or one with less hours, or more flexible hours. Should I work from home, and will I be disciplined enough to actually work. Where do I fit in family? When do I cut the lawn?
The big key to all this is simple, yet counter-intuitive. One must learn to say "no." That's the hard part. By nature, people who minister are "yes" people, especially when they are volunteers. So it goes against our nature to say "no" to something. But if we don't learn that important word, we will get bogged down with more and more responsibilities.
The answer is easy. Once you have enough to do to feel comfortable, then do not take something else on unless you train someone to take one of your responsibilities. Then release it. That's another hard part - letting go. But trust me, for every job you're doing around the church, someone else let it go so you could do it.
And remember, God will honor your sacrifices, if you do them for His glory.