Friday, December 18, 2009

Working Nine-to-Five?

Being a couple weeks away from our fifth anniversary at Florissant, I've been reflecting on several things that make our ministry here so special. While it's a long way from being at the top of the list, one of the things I truly appreciate is not being defined AT ALL by an office. I love my office, and I love the people I get to work with. They are the greatest servants of God I've ever had the privilege of being in partnership with as we all try to do what God called us to do. Hey, I'm the Office Administrator and Staff Coordinator! I'm all about having an efficient, productive, supportive, and purpose driven office and ministry team, but - my job is not an office job it's a people job - it's a serve God wherever - whenever - 24/7 life! One of the saddest, most narrow minded, and worldly ways to limit, and even destroy a servant ministry, is to expect a highly trained, highly motivated, and adequately paid minister of the Gospel to sit in a church office just in case someone walks in and wants to talk to "the preacher." How can you expect someone to be available 24/7 and still require 9 to 5 office hours? I've already made the point that I'm not anti-office, I'm very pro-office, but it's a tool to use not the focus of the job. Office oriented thinking destroys creativity, sets artificial boundaries for productivity, and turns ministry into administrative paper-work rather than people work.
Sure, full-time ministry is a job where an unethical person can learn how to be seen, be heard, and be lazy the rest of the time, but that will be easily revealed over time. I never leave work - PERIOD! I never stop thinking, reviewing, taking notes, writing down ideas, and looking for ways to help people have a deeper relationship with Jesus. That's not bragging, that's my life. I don't sit in a tree stand hunting without working on ideas and plans for the future. I don't go on vacation without spending time studying, praying, and thinking about ways to be a better servant of God. Again, that's not bragging because I'm not saying I'm good at it. I'm just saying my job and my life are the same thing, and, Praise the Lord, I have a car, a home, an office, a cell phone, a laptop, and plenty of pens and notebooks in my tool box to help me do my job.
I am so thankful to be with a church family and to have shepherds who respect that. I still manage to put in from thirty to sixty hours in the office, depending on the need that week, but it's only part of what I do and where I do it. Preachers and elders - I wouldn't accept a ministry with a church that required set office hours. If you can't trust your minister to be about God's business you better not hire him.

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