Picking this up from yesterday, us born again Christian type folk, have really done a number on the capital "M" Ministry thing. When we talk about God's Call on our lives, it has somehow been religious-cized into our call by God into some sort of full time religious service.....whatever individual interpretation we put on that one.
Can I throw a hand grenade into that thing and blow it all up? Every single one of us who identify ourselves as followers of Christ.... has been called into full time ministry (service) for the King........doing everything we do heartily unto the Lord. That has absolutely nothing to do with being a Pastor, a missionary, joining some Christian Ministry group (is that capital "M" word starting to bug anybody?) where you get sub-standard wages (or no wages at all as we run around from church to church trying to drum up some kind of donation to support ourselves).
You are in full time ministry from the moment you give your life to the King.....you are in it right now....doing whatever it is you do, as unto Him and for His glory.....and....I would wager anything that you either are impacting or have the potential to impact more people every day than you ever could as a full time preacher. How is that for a bold statement. Guess how I can make that statement? I can say that because after 9 years of serving people in our B&B (almost 1500 of them in 2007 alone), I have effectively touched more people (in any one of those years), than I did during a total of 12 years in the full time Ministry as a preacher.
I have been saying for almost 10 years now that the "highest good is NOT to be a full time preacher". Every religious system (including my own) presented/presents the highest good is to leave that awful worldly job and go to bible school to become a missionary or a preacher.
That was exactly what was preached to me during (1967-1968) as the Gospel from the man who eventually led me to the Lord. He was a 50 year old literal earth mover who sold everything he had (all his equipment, his big house in Franklin Lakes, N.J., his 2 Cadillacs, all his stuff) everything but his building which he rented to me so he could go off to learn how to be a missionary. He sat in a fundamental evangelical church for years until God grabbed hold of his heart and his proclamation to me before I was saved was: "When God really grabs hold of your heart, there are only two things you can do......go off to bible school to become a preacher....and I'm too old for that....or go to be a missionary....and I'm not too old for that." When I prayed with him to turn my life over to the Lord, that was my understanding of what it meant to follow Jesus. I knew then and there I had to pursue becoming a Pastor.
It was also my understanding as a young boy in the Catholic church....the highest good was to become a priest or a nun. I didn't qualify for the nun thing so I figured if I loved God then I needed to be a priest. I felt God would never let me achieve that highest good because I was too big a sinner, felt I was totally depraved and God could never accept me.......then eventually turned my back on religion since it just didn't work for me.
I've heard that same highest good message preached from pulpit after pulpit after pulpit for 40 years.....where the Pastor dude tells us how he used to do this worldly job or that worldly job, but God's call on his life was to be a preacher so he left that worldly pursuit so he could follow Jesus in the full time Ministry. He preaches it so well that the rest of us still holding down our worldly jobs squirm in our seats because we haven't yet seen the light and how we must come out from among them.....oh my..... only one guess how I know all this stuff.
I have long since repented of dangling the highest good in front of some 20 odd leaders (the haves to be) in our church system from 1976 thru 1986.....whilst the rest of the folks (pick a word - any word)...the laity, the idios, the havenots ......just squirmed and felt less than because they knew they could never leave their worldly jobs.
Jesus has forgiven me. I can't tell you how thankful I am for His forgiveness. I pray that He will open the eyes of your heart to see what I am saying.....and set you free to be exactly who He has called you to be.