"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord"
- Colossians 3:23 -
I've had the joy of working in the ministry for over nine years now. Recently, I interviewed a young man to come alongside me in the communications department at our church. He was considering leaving his secular job and asked me how I made the transition from a secular job into ministry.
Around 2006 (give or take a year, my memory is worse than that of a goldfish), I was briefly into running. My favorite time to run was at night in the cold, brisk air. I'd use that time to pray, looking up at the night sky filled with stars. There's one particular night I can recall as if it happened yesterday.
God made it very clear that I was to go into ministry. I didn't know how or where, but I knew God was tugging on my heart.
At the time, I had a really great job in ocean freight at a Fortune 100 company. My future was very promising, and of course the pay was nice. Yes, I had led small groups at church, but ME work for the church???
About a year later, our church was looking for someone to lead up community missions. The associate pastor at the time encouraged me to apply. Should I do it??? I don't know . . . I don't have any community service experience. And the pay . . . yikes! And why would I leave the largest employer in our community when I'm on an upward trajectory???
God made it clear... this what the path He created for me.
That doesn't mean the transition was easy. I was nervous. I didn't want to burn any bridges in case things didn't work out. We tried to pay off as much as possible to prepare for the pay cut. I remember telling my coworkers I was leaving to go work for a church, and although they commended me for making that decision, I know they were boggled. (Ironically, it was my Muslim friends who were the most encouraging.) I also took a week off between jobs to clear my mind and prepare my heart for this new journey.
Don't get me wrong . . . I'm so thankful for the years I spent in my secular job. It taught me skills that have been incredibly valuable to me in the ministry now as well as instilled a hard working ethic. I can fully appreciate those church volunteers who put in 40+ hours a week at their jobs and still make time to faithfully serve the church.
Has God placed on your heart a call to ministry? Even if it's not vocational, perhaps God is calling you to use your unique gifts to serve Him in the marketplace.
How can you share God's love at your job?