The Benefits of Not Working at the Church

If you are here, reading this blog, you are most likely passionate about Deaf ministry and serving God. You also probably know that very few people serving in Deaf Ministry have the privilege to minister to the Deaf full time. Most people (myself included) are lay-leaders in their deaf ministry. My goal today is to encourage you all who are in the same situation as I am. Many days, I would much rather be involved in ministry than working my nine-to-five job (not that those things are mutually exclusive, but you know what I mean). However, bills don’t pay themselves, so I hope today’s article encourages all the fellow lay-leaders out there!

Photo courtesy of Baltar at www.FreeImages.com

Photo courtesy of Baltar at www.FreeImages.com

If you have ever served in in a lay-leader capacity, you will understand how crazy of a situation it can be. You want to serve God in your ministry and do it with excellence. At the same time, you want to do your nine to five job heartily (like in Colossians 3:23). You want to prepare, plan, and participate in your ministry, but the pressures and pursuits of your day job (not to mention the pressures of life in general) can be stifling and exhausting.

As I have said, I am in that situation. I am a director of a Deaf Ministry in Daytona Beach, FL. I am also a professional ASL interpreter for the public schools in my county. Thankfully, my day job involves afternoons, weekends, and holidays off to pursue whatever I wish, but I still sometimes wish I had those seven hours a day to devote to ministry. Instead, I have to make time to prepare messages, visit people, and plan activities on top of the normal ins and outs of life.

Pastors spend a lot of their time around church people. When I am out working, I am around mostly non-church people and I have an opportunity to influence them seven hours a day, five days a week! When I am out there working a job, I am around people who need the Gospel.

Let me be clear, I love being a lay leader! Sure, there are times when a Sunday service or an activity sneak up on me and I wish I had those extra 35 hours that week to get ready, but I still love what I do. For all the reasons having to work a job that is not serving God can be frustrating, it also has it’s pros! Here is four that I came up with:

  1. Focus. It is a wonderful thing to just be able to focus on one ministry rather than several. At least at my church, each pastor has several areas of responsibility and many ministries that they oversee. Being a lay-leader, I get to focus my time and energy towards one ministry.
  2. Freedom. Being a lay-leader truly gives you the freedom to be flexible. There are several angles to this idea of being a lay-leader giving more freedom. Pastors have many more time constraints than lay-leaders do. There’s no board meetings (unless you’re also on the board, but that is your choice) or required business meetings (unless we want to go).
  3. Funds. Let’s be honest, churches are not known for paying well (contrary to what you may see on the news). Let’s be a little more honest, life is not all about money, but we still have to pay the bills. There is much more potential to earn money in the secular workplace than at a church. Although, I would be willing to trade in what I make to do ministry full time, it is still a perk none the less.
  4. Access. This is my favorite. Pastors spend a lot of their time around church people. When I am out working, I am around mostly non-church people and I have an opportunity to influence them seven hours a day, five days a week! When I am out there working a job, I am around people who need the Gospel.

I am not trying to put down people who work full time at a church. I think that full time ministry is an excellent thing! My goal with this post was to encourage other lay-leaders. Next time you are worn out, burnt out, or just tired of being tired, try to look at the silver lining. Being a lay-leader has it’s perks!

What other advantages would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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