Thursday, May 14, 2009

Full-Time Ministry or Unemployed?

Many dance ministers dream of the day when they can do ministry "full-time." This usually means that he or she can make enough income to support themselves while ministering freely without working a "secular" job. Some people have the notion that big paychecks will come from ministry assisgnments, and that hotel expenses, airfare, meals, and an honorarium will provide for all comforts desired. (For some, these comforts include a luxury vehicle and first class airfare!)

There is a difference between serving in ministry full-time and being unemployed. Losing a job does not mean that someone is now in full-time ministry, even though it can serve as a catalyst for it. If we are to leave the Corporate job sector to work in the ministry full-time, we must have a plan of action in place. Otherwise, we are merely unemployed and in need of work.

The reality is that full-time ministry requires hard work. Each and every one of us should be in full-time ministry, regardless of whether we receive checks for it or not! Those who labor in the Gospel realize the importance of being able to minister the Word freely, without the control of people who may wave a paycheck at them for expected services. As a result of variable love offerings and "church folk mentalities," many ministers have had to work to generate income that would supplement any love offerings or salaries received from a local church.

Many dance ministers today have also become entreprenuers through marketplace ministry. This is being done through product development including books, DVDs, garments, flags, training programs and other ministry-related inspirational products. While launching a Christian business may be great, if we are to maintain integrity in ministry, we must be diligent in product order fulfillment and excellent customer service. Being out on the road ministering does not excuse us from delivering our products on time!

Whatever the path the Lord blesses us to walk, we must not let money become the deciding factor for ministry. As I have quoted to many, "The problem is that we treat our ministries like businesses, and our businesses like ministries." If we are to operate as Kingdom entrepreneurs, we must do our homework concerning business licenses, product distribution options, production deadlines, tax laws, business insurance, website development, payment acceptance, branding, quality control... Get the picture?

Before we set our hearts on earning income solely through ministry, we must pray and obey the Lord. Too many are "pimping" the Gospel for unrighteous gain. When the Lord places something in our hands, He will cause us to go out and multiply our talents. Since our heart and treasure reside in the same place, let's make sure to set our affections on the Lord.

(New King James Version)

Proverbs 10:22
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.

1 Corinthians 3:8
Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-11
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

No comments: