There’s nothing super-godly about being in “paid FT ministry”, but there are some things that you just couldn’t know without experiencing them first-hand…
(This is why MTS is so important!!! No matter how much ministry you’ve been doing, or how you’ve seen your parents be in full-time ministry… It’s not about knowing it, but rather how YOU handle it).
- Ever organised a wedding? Helpers, cars, equipment, outlines, songs, rsvps, invites… That’s what ppl in FT ministry do every week. Again and again and again. And not just church – It feels like 50% of your effort is just spent convincing people to come to things that you know will help keep them from hell!
- Being able to devote more time to a ministry doesn’t make it easier, rather it increases your responsibilities. You are held more responsible for more aspects of it.
- Being more responsible means the buck stops with you… You are the one who makes the decisions, rather than the one who complains about the decisions made. You get criticism and slandered by people you’ve tried to love when you have made decisions that you know are for the good of the gospel. Some people will refuse to listen and understand.
- Your favourite thing in the world becomes something you’re paid to do and you need to take breaks from. So you have to change how you take time off. Friends become your flock, and your flock can become your friends or your foes.
- You have to deal with very wrong expectations. On one hand, your love for people is devalued because they think you’re doing it “just because it’s your job”. On the other hand, your love for people is over-valued because they think that their pastor’s attention is more special that their brothers and sisters in Christ. They “need” you when they really don’t, and they claim that “the church” hasn’t loved them if you don’t give them everything they ask for.
- You know that you’re just another sinful-yet-forgiven member of Christ’s family, but people expect you to be special somehow. You make bad decisions that will hinder growth, that will turn people away, that will get blown out of proportion. You don’t know what’s the best thing to do, but you have to do something.
- People want you to love them more than you love God. They don’t know they want this, but their actions show they do. Especially when loving God means saying hard things to them and calling for repentance.
- Bible reading and Prayer becomes your best friend or your source of depression. Keep doing them.
- You see the gospel in an amazing new light (not different – just fresh). Because you’re totally depending on the gospel to change people and you see people reject the gospel, ignore the gospel, have the gospel explode their world view.