Ministry vs. Business

Ministry and good work go hand in hand, as I believe it should. This is a group of campers from one of our Nationals Intensive Training Camp. We'll be there again in a couple weeks "training minds for action."

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.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • Jeff

    Thank you. Sometimes people get caught up in “doing” ministry, but there are those of us who want to do it full time. What better job is there than ministering, and doing what you love? It’s what God made us to do.

    • Chris Jeub

      Funny how the Greatest Commandment applies to our professions!

  • Bjmjasay

    Amen! Just last night my husband prayed that God would allow him to support us all while ministering to others in some capacity. He’s been officially searching for employment for over a year now (with a couple of long temporary jobs thrown in there), after his job of 13 years was cut. We’re praying that God will open doors for him outside of the normal daily grind. He would love to do some creative ministering that would also allow us all to eat! If you would, we’d appreciate you joining us in that prayer!

    • Chris Jeub

      Too many folks let the years go by without maximizing their potential, and that potential is what God wants for them all along. You’ve got my 100% encouragement to go for it!

  • kate

    All work and our lives in general need to be a ministry to others. Even if our place of work doesn’t have the word “ministry” on the end, we should still conduct business as if it does.

  • Kathryn Lang

    I found your site when I was trying to decide if what we have started is a business or a ministry – because it is a ministry mindset, but we are working at making it profitable so that it can continue on its ministry.

    So, your article was perfect for what we are doing and what we are seeing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chris Jeub

      Glad it helped, Kathryn. God bless your good work!