Open Calling, Closed Doors: Waiting to Enter Vocational Ministry

Photo Credit: Namphuong Van

Photo Credit: Namphuong Van

In my last post, The Idolatry of Vocational MinistryI discussed the importance of a sober evaluation of one’s calling into vocational ministry.  One of the guys from the church I pastor asked if I was going to write an encouragement to guys who are indeed called, but don’t currently have an opportunity to serve in full-time ministry.  I must confess, I believe that my series on The Lost Art of Tentmaking would be encouraging, but I figured that since I’ve been blessed with several men at Christ Community Church who are called, but not yet able to serve full-time, I’d take the time to write an encouragement to the rest of you who are called, willing, and ready, but do not yet have a place to serve full-time. Continue reading

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The Idolatry of Vocational Ministry

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve spoken to a young man who was lamenting his day job and longing to be in full-time vocational ministry, I’d have 20’s of dollars. Over the last several years Steph and I have shared this observation: For many maturing Christians, they automatically assume that full-time vocational ministry is the next step for their spiritual journey. While this may be true for some of them, I would argue that it can quickly be an idol, or at least an unfair litmus test for godliness.

Several years ago I was having breakfast with an older pastor and he made this comment, “There are many people who go into vocational ministry because they are lazy.” Now my friend was known to not mince words, but before just dismissing him outright, I decided to engage that statement with him. After a few moments I began to understand what he was saying and had to pause and evaluate my own heart. Had I been looking to my goal of full-time paid vocational ministry as a false god (something that I put my hope in for joy) or perhaps I, too, was just lazy. Continue reading

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The Lost Art of Tentmaking – A Word of Caution – Part 4

Photo by Oliver Pacas

Photo by Oliver Pacas

A WORD OF CAUTION

If you are just tuning into this series, you may want to go read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before reading through this post.

As I have been writing from my experience as a church planter about how I have and continue to provide for my family through while church planting, I felt compelled to offer some words of caution. Continue reading

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