What Ministry is Not

One of the questions I get most often is if I’m going into ministry. I absolutely understand the heart behind that question, so I try to answer it as simply as I can. But I hate it.

I’m not a Christian by profession. My job is to be an author, speaker, blogger, & independent creative. My identity is to be a follower of Jesus. I don’t really aspire to be a “Christian writer;” I am a Christian who writes. The gospel has changed — and is still changing — every fiber of who I am. Evidence of that will surely show up in my words, and also in my life. But ultimately, I’m not chasing a career that fits neatly into the “ministry” category. I’m just chasing Jesus.

You see, I don’t think ministry should be a job field that you enter or a profession you choose to chase after. At the end of the day, ministry is less about what you do & more about how and why you do what you do. I don’t love the idea of “vocational ministry,” only because it implies that there is room for ministry only in certain settings, that people who do ministry from nine to five are somehow more Christian than people who do not. That’s crazy. Do what you love. Do what you’re good at. And bring the goodness & grace of a gospel-filled heart with you as you do it. Ministry doesn’t happen when you receive a paycheck from a church; ministry happens when you are the church.

If you’re a follower of Jesus, love people well, because you’ve received a love overflowing. Forgive people freely, because you’ve been forgiven for today and forever. Speak life to people, because you were dead and now you are living and free. Speak truth to people, because you have it and they need it desperately. You don’t need a title or a platform, you just need a heart for your Jesus and for your people. That is ministry. And you, friend, are called to it. So let’s just chase Jesus together today.

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