I’ve only been in full-time ministry for about a year and a half, but I’ve been ministering to people my entire life. When I took the leap by quitting my nursing job and becoming a full-time worship pastor, I can honestly say that I had some huge misconceptions about what that would entail. In fact, when I received my job description from my pastor and was asked to sign off on it, I actually had him add more things to it. Silly me! 😉
Here’s a beginners list of my misconceptions:
All people in ministry desire unity within the body of Christ.
This was a HUGE misconception of mine. When I was offered the job at Hope, one of the first things I did was realize that I couldn’t do it on my own. I called/emailed worship pastors from other churches, hoping to meet with some of them to gain some knowledge and insight. I wanted to see what they did right and also learn from mistakes they’d made. Of about 15-20 people I contacted, 2 responded, and thankfully one of those is now one of my closest friends and allies in this thing called ministry. While I’m grateful for that, I can’t help but think about how much other lead pastors, worship pastors, children’s and youth pastors are missing out on by NOT forming relationships with their counterparts elsewhere.
Some people I talked with were actually very vocal about not wanting me to take their “secrets” to my own church and use them there. WHAT?!?! Isn’t the common goal for all of us kingdom growth? If our scope of vision is so limited to our own church body, then we are totally missing the point. I love my church body. I would lay down my life for them, but it’s about the lost finding their Savior. Period. End of story.
Being on staff at a church is boring, quiet, and lame.
I have the privilege of working alongside one of the “realest” pastors I’ve ever met. (I’ll be getting a raise next week). 😉 I wish that some of you could be a fly on the wall during some of our staff meetings. I work with some of the funniest people. I’ve never laughed so much in my life — at myself and at them.
There is never a dull moment here, and it’s rarely quiet. There is a vibrancy here that drives my passion for Jesus, ministry, and life in general.
My schedule is going to open way up.
This one is really quite ridiculous. For the first year of ministry, I was still working part-time as a nurse. I had this great imagination. I thought that when I was finally able to quit nursing, my schedule would just open up. I would have more time to be creative, more time with my family and friends, etc. It’s not that I didn’t try. It’s just that it’s so easy to fill up our lives with more and more stuff — some of it good, some bad. My challenge now, especially since we are in transition to a new building, is figuring out what is important and what I can just leave behind. Life is full of various seasons. This is an insanely busy season in my life, so I have to keep myself focused on the overall goal or vision that He has given me and not get bogged down by all the little stuff.
People are inherently good and will want to help you out.
You’d think that if I’d read what the Bible says about our inherent sinfulness that I would get it out of my head that people are generally good. The truth is (and I know I’m going to sound jaded here) that people have nothing good inside of them by themselves. It is only by the grace of God that anyone is good. I’m not even really that good of a person. I would love to think I am, but the truth is that I get angry and frustrated. And I have taken it out on the people that I love the most at times. Thank you, Jesus, that You’re a good Savior who loves me regardless.
People naturally gravitate to wanting to be right, wanting to tell you that you’re wrong, and ultimately sitting around in wait for your demise. It is our natural inclination to think that someone else’s success somehow diminishes our own success. NOT TRUE!! Shouldn’t we be trying to bring glory to Jesus, no matter what it is that we’re doing? This life is not about our success or failure. We can be so self-absorbed sometimes. Life should be about making a wonderful Savior known to the world. It should be about making His grace the center of our lives and making sure that everyone we meet knows about it.
This is a wake up call for myself and for those of you in ministry who read this blog. It’s always been my desire to be as transparent as possible, so there you go.
For the record, if there are any of you out there who are new to ministry and need pointers, even if you want to see how we do things on Sundays, by all means, get in touch with me. I am always willing to help someone starting out. I love His Church, and I want to see it grow.