Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should I Get a Regular Job?

Sometimes I feel like I have so much to do, I don't want to do any of it. I have too many interests or too many hobbies or too many ministries. The thing is that I want to do everything, but I have neither the time nor the energy to do so. If I had the money, I could probably employ a handful of people full time to do all the things I want to get done.

Now I'm wondering if I should try and get a secular job. I don't want one. I want to do ministry full time, and I feel that I am, and I have faith that God will sustain me in this time, but it's a hard sell to a prospective wife.

 I have nothing against working. I wouldn't mind the extra money. But I don't really want to give up ministry or more accurately, I don't want to give up the priority of ministry to a job. People with most kinds of jobs need to work when their boss tells them and it must come before their ministry to whomever they minister to. Since I currently work at a church, my employers understand that ministry is important and allow me to have a flexible schedule. I supposed I'm afraid of losing that.

That's why I typically go for jobs like Tutoring or Babysitting or even Substitute teaching where I have the choice to set my hours or to just say no. But it's not steady income and definitely not reliable. So today, I was thinking about looking for a night job at a hotel. When I worked at a hotel... over a decade ago... that makes me feel old... the night shift was from 11pm to 7am. Well that's just three hours later than I currently stay up now. That might work... but not on Saturday night.

I just don't know.

Another option is to try and get into teaching. This would either mean going back to school to get a credential or some educational units (if I'm going to work in a preschool) or teaching at a private school. If I look into it, maybe I could open a traveling private school and go around to student's homes and oversee their work on a weekly basis or something... I don't know. I'm just throwing up ideas.

I'm praying about what to do. I've been approached by a couple of concerned friends on this issue. Perhaps my time of uber-ministry is over and I need to start backing out of a few things. I don't want to. I love the ministries I've been a part of.

Please pray for me.


Anonymous said...

Update us and let us know what God has been leading you to do...

Jonathan Dow said...

still praying

Anonymous said...

I work full time but do full time ministry. And I sleep 8 hours a day...well I try to. That's because wherever I am, I am faithful to minister to those around me, to share my testimony and the Lord with them, and to be a witness to them for my Lord-both with words and without. And sometimes the Lord develops ministry around me in my job or wherever I have to be, to the point in which that BECOMES my ministry.

The ministry I do specifically at church is also something I love and crave. And the truth is that I am torn for lack of much extra time to spend in that department as I want. I want to spend much more time developing our children and youth ministry. And sometimes I can't go to church on Sunday because of work, and that is also very difficult. Especially when you're "in ministry." But, for now, even though I don't get to spend as much time doing "church ministry" because of work, the Lord is still having an impact in people around me because He is working through me wherever I am. I could cut my hours down so I can work in church ministry more, but I feel that I am in a season right now in which I can learn a lot in my job, I can earn and save, and if and when I have a family, I will no longer be in that season of working a full-time secular job because my family will take priority. And at that point it will probably make more sense to be more active in ministry with church because my family will also be involved.

And just as you are always ministering wherever you are, you would have an impact also even in a secular job. Unless you work in a hotel at night alone-ish, or somewhere else that kind of works around your church schedule but compromises your ability to engage with people you work around (because it's a one-man job or something).

It seems like your ideal job is one in which you are around people, and even better, children because God has gifted you for ministering to children and people. Of course sometimes we work any job until we eventually can work our way into a job we like better, because we have to start somewhere.

The Bible says that if you don't work, you don't eat. Well if you and your family are fully supported by a church that allows your work to be "ministry" then great. But if not or until then, someone's gotta win the bread, right? Will it be you or your prospective wife?

Jonathan Dow said...

I've had full time jobs before that I would rush out the door at 5 to go lead a Bible Study somewhere. I've had other full time jobs where it was easy to do ministry there and at church... but I wasn't as busy at church. I'm at the place now that I think I would have to stop teaching one of my Bible Studies if I were to get a full time job again. It's not easy for me to consider that option.

Anyway, do I know you? Are you in Chico? I should probably take the Anonymous comment option out because I can't have a relationship with people I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Yes you know me. I just kept it anonymous because I figured you are more likely to receive and respond to the post with complete objectivity, not that you are a respecter of persons. Plus I forgot my gmail password.

Oh, and I made a mistake in my post. I don't do full time ministry. I don't have any idea why I wrote that. It sounded good though, didn't it? Yah, it is hard to think of quitting teaching a Bible study. As you've said, this is certainly a matter of prayer and being sensitive to how the Lord is leading you. I'll keep praying for you.