I didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a Christian home but I did have the privilege of attending a Christian school the last two years of high school. I have friends who are now in full-time Christian Ministry and others who are working at secular jobs. Over my “official” years of being in Christian Ministry, I have been constantly reminded of a few things.
I. I am reminded that surrendering your life to serve the Lord isn’t a burden, but a blessing. Yes, there are burdens that you will carry as a minister of Christ but the blessings He pours far outweigh any of those burdens.
II. Being called to serve the Lord takes faith. You are trusting that if you surrender to God’s call for your life,the Lord will provide the needs of you and your family.
11 MISCONCEPTIONS of Full-Time Ministry Workers:
1. Since he/she works at the church, teaches at a private school, preaches at Christian camps or cleans the toilets at church, he must be “more-called” than someone who isn’t working in either of those areas.
No Christian is “more-called” than another Christian. God calls us to do different things and calls us, not according to who we are or what we are capable of doing, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE, which he established BEFORE the world began.
Matthew 22:14 |1 Corinthians 1:26 | Philippians 1:6 | 2 Timothy 1:9
2. Since you work in a Christian environment, everyone will be Christ-like ALL.THE.TIME.
NOPE! It’s best if everyone in your work environment is a Christian but sadly, even in Christian workplaces, there are unsaved employees or staff members. Your job is TO STILL BE Salt & Light. Someone once told me, “One of the easiest places to backslide is in a Christian workplace or environment.”
3. Since you work at the church and are getting paid for it, you should be part of most, if not all the ministries & no one else should lead those ministries except those on staff.
TOTALLY FALSE! I’ll be honest, I hate that mentality. As staff members of a church or Christian organization, our job is to assist the Pastor or Leader. Yes, we should SET THE EXAMPLE and be involved in the ministries provided but to DO ALL OF THEM or LIMIT THE LEADERS OF THOSE MINISTRIES to ONLY Staff members is unhealthy and absolutely ridiculous.
4. Since you are an employee at the church, you should be present EVERY. SINGLE. TIME the church doors are open.
I remember trying to convince myself when I first started growing as a new Christian that I would be at church any time and every time the church doors were open… Although that isn’t necessarily bad, we can use that as our reason for serving… to make sure that we are “seen” any time and every time something is going on at church. If we aren’t careful, we become “PERFORMANCE” Christians rather than “WORSHIPPING” Christians. We end up doing things for people rather than serving to worship God.
Although church is great place to fellowship with other Believers, we should go to church for the main purpose of Worshipping God, not fellowshipping with others.
5. Since you are a “Full-Time” Christian minister/worker, you must read your Bible all the time and live a consecrated life; or what others may consider, “not knowing how to have fun.”
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are NO LONGER Human. You are very much human! In fact, as a Christian, you have more to wrestle with… you are in constant battles with your flesh and the Spirit that now lives in you as a child of God.
There will be times when you will forget or fail to prioritize reading your Bible or praying.
There will be times when you will say things that you wish you would have never said.
There will be times when you give in to your flesh rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.
BUT, a Child of God doesn’t give up…
If you missed reading your Bible or praying one day, get back up and start again.
If you haven’t been in church in so long, get back up and start going again. (Don’t worry about what others may say)
And who ever said that Christians don’t know how to have fun??!??
We have the most fun! Sure, we may not be out there at the bars every weekend, and we are so glad we aren’t! Because who would want to party all night and wake up the next morning trying to remember what happened or “who” happened? Definitely, not me!
6. Since you “get paid” to serve the Lord, you should be the one that’s faithful in giving your tithes and offerings.
God did not just command those in Christian Ministry to be faithful in giving their Tithes and Offerings. He has called every Christian to give. I mean if you read the verses after each of these verses, you would be crazy not to want to give back to God. After all, every thing we have is His.
Proverbs 3:9 | Malachi 3:8 | Malachi 3:10 | Proverbs 3:9
7. Since you have surrendered your life to serve the Lord, your kids will be upright and perfect and CANNOT or “ARE NOT ALLOWED” to make mistakes and be kids.
Puh-lease!!! Kids will be kids. For the longest time, I had these high expectations of anyone that was a Pastor’s Kid, Missionary’s Kid, or Kids with Parents in Full-Time Ministry. But I’ve come to realize that just because someone is a Pastor’s kid doesn’t make them more of saint than someone who isn’t a Pastor’s kid. Sure, we will have our expectations but we shouldn’t be surprised if “that” child acts just any other child.
8. Since you work at church, your life is much more easier than the person who is working at a secular job, doing their best to be “Salt & Light.”
I’ve worked at both secular and ministry jobs. Being at a secular job takes a lot of courage because every day, you are bombarded with things of this world; temptations, curiosity, lust, etc. However, being at a ministry job still requires you to stand up when other “Christians” don’t necessarily act or talk like Christians; There are temptations many Full-Time Ministry Workers face and sadly sometimes, they are similar to what those at secular jobs face.
9. Since you work in “full-time” Christian Ministry, you have “in” on all the drama and gossip that’s going around.
As much as many believe that, it’s not true to every Christian Ministry. In fact, many Ministry Workers would prefer not to know a lot of stuff, simply because it’s another “burden” they will have to carry. So, no! We don’t know all the drama and gossip in the church and as much as our “nosy”-selves may want to know, we really don’t want to have a part.
10. Since you work in full-time Christian Ministry, you are more honored and preferred by visiting preachers than the person who just got off work and is sitting, trying to fight their sleep.
Not true! Sometimes, visiting preachers may remember the names of those that are Ministry Workers easily because they can associate them with a title, such as Mr. D. Harriss – Youth Pastor. But that doesn’t mean that they are more appreciated than some faithful laymen who comes service after service, despite their busy work schedule. In fact, in my opinion, they have a deeper appreciation for those who work secular jobs and are still faithful!
11. Since you are in full-time Christian Ministry, you have more time to get stuff done and can easily serve the Lord.
Honestly, everyone has the same amount time – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Sure, doing stuff at the church is part of our “job” but that doesn’t mean that we have more time or an easier time to serve the Lord. Sometimes, working at a church is harder than it looks or sounds. There’s a constant reminder to be flexible, be available, and meet expectations on top of your regular life as a parent, spouse, or friend. So going back to the first misconception about Ministry Workers being “more called,” remember, before the world began, God already knew what your purpose was; what your calling was.
This post is in no way a means of comparing Full-Time Christian Ministry Workers and those working at Secular Jobs. It is not meant to put one “higher” than the other but to have a better understanding and to set things straight. Sometimes, what you think and assume isn’t really the truth.
These are just 11 Misconceptions. I am positive that there are more but if you are a Full-Time Christian Worker, no matter what some one expects from you, remember, you are REALLY, TRULY serving the Lord, not people. (But you must still show your good works to people, so that they may see Christ in you).
If you are a Christian who isn’t in Full-Time Christian Ministry, I hope you have a better understanding and different view of those who are in Full-Time Christian Ministry. Just like you, they are just trying to serve the Lord. They are just doing it differently. Sure, it may include their paycheck but it is God who called them. They could’ve easily fulfilled another calling but the highest calling is whatever God called you to do, whether it be in Ministry or at a Secular Job.
***Featured Photo by Ben White on Unsplash!