A while ago, I decided that I wanted to work at a hotel front desk. I wanted to see people. I wanted to serve people. I wanted to learn how to be hospitable. That may not seem like a crazy idea.
However, I have spent most of the last five years of my life training to go into ministry. I’ve done internships, college coursework, and built relationships with other ministry workers.
I was confronted by the lie that pastors, missionaries, and paid church employees are more serious Christians than people in the pews. I wanted to put that lie to rest, and what better way to put that lie to rest than to serve outside of the church.
I’m only two weeks into this journey, but God has taught me some interesting things.
1) The Church desperately needs faithful people working in secular workplaces.
People who work in secular workplaces bring so much to the church. For starters, they are deeply connected to the community that they are in. They are working, serving, meeting, and investing in their community in a way that pastors cannot.
People who serve in secular workplaces have access and know people outside of the church very deeply. They can sit down with them and have deep conversations, and get to know and care for the people they work for and the people they work with.
There is also the aspect of what the secular worker can give to the church. People in secular workplaces aren’t only giving part of their salary to the church, but their salary isn’t coming from the church in the first place. Their place of employment supports the work of the church in ways that ministry leaders cannot.
2) The Church desperately needs faithful people working in ministry settings.
People who work in ministry settings have an incredible privilege of taking care of the flock, which is predominantly those who work in secular workplaces. It is not easy to work 40-50 hours a week, support a family, and serve their church faithfully.
Ministry leaders are helpful in aiding the mission of the church by providing guidance, care, truth, and love to those who are tired and weary, as well as those who are thriving and enjoying everyday life!
Faithful people in ministry settings are not doing the work that God has called the secular worker to do, but rather, they are walking through life with them so that neither has to attempt to serve and worship God weakly. They are the support that people need.
3) The Church desperately needs both faithful kinds of people working together.
Overall, God has given me a lot more respect for people, both church staff and the everyday worker. God has given the Church a lot to do and it can only happen when we as faithful Christians don’t try to do everything by ourselves.
It’s really easy to say and acknowledge that but to live your life knowing the church is called to this certain thing, and knowing that your only role is to allow other people to fill that is really really difficult.
Praise God we have faithful secular workers and faithful ministry workers. God knows we need both. It’s a fine time to admit that ourselves too.
Mitch graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, where he studied Evangelism and Discipleship with an emphasis in Intercultural Ministries. He blogs at his own website about how the Gospel impacts the way we ought our lives. He was a Golden State Warriors fan before it was cool and is considered a semi-professional Kan Jam player in his hometown.