I’ve known some pretty big-wig ministry leaders over the years, gotten to know some of their personal sides. They have often struck me as shrewd, sharp, cutting. I’m starting to understand why.
So many people “do ministry” on the weekends. They work during the day to make their money, then give of their time in the evenings or weekends. They are good people, and I don’t mean to sound critical of them, but lately I’ve had a couple of folks who fit this mold get on my case.
See, I’ve done things differently. My work is what I’m called to. I haven’t separated my work from my calling. Literally, I’ve made sure my day job is my ministry, built a business to make ends meet in the work I’m called to do.
Here’s a quick explanation. Building loving and large families is what this site is about, and Wendy and I write books to fund this effort. I also “train minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13) through Training Minds Ministry and speech and debate, we charge for training and publish curriculum to make sure we continue in this good work. It’s all ministry work, we love it, and we are immersed in figuring out how to keep devoted to it.
But the first group is often rubbed the wrong way by this. See, I make money at it, and I strive to earn a profit, and I make business decisions to keep the work going. I don’t have a day job, so I make sure my work generates the income to keep me devoted to the ministry. I don’t see anything wrong with this.
Most ministry leaders — the shrewd ones I mentioned earlier — typically struggle with people who haven’t the foggiest idea of this life. Ministry leaders dedicate their lives to the ministry they are called, but they are sometimes judged for having conflicts of interest, profiting from God’s work, extortion of God’s people.
When this judgement comes, it hurts, especially when it comes from people who you’d think would be on your side. I end up on the defensive, sounding like a convict on the witness stand. My defense hasn’t convinced a few, and I guess that’s just tough.
But I’ve noticed a common thread in those that don’t understand where I’m coming from: they all have day jobs. Their ministry is done on their spare time. They think everyone should do the same, and they don’t understand folks like me who don’t.