It didn’t feel all that long ago where I felt the call into full-time ministry. That season of life was pretty exciting and it had so many question with it. My experience was a full-time role dependent on personal fundraising. Some of you can relate and some of you have a full time ministry position you've never had to think about fundraising.
Regardless of the situation you are in, as someone in full time ministry you should have a place online. And I don’t mean all of us should be out there writing blogs about ministry.
That would be brutal.
But you should have place where you focus your passions. The things that make your heart beat a little faster. The things you love to talk about when you’re not doing ministry. Because here is the nature of full-time ministry:
It is a monster and it will eat every bit of your life you give it.
Harsh? Maybe. True? Absolutely. Most of us have had a season in full time ministry where we can’t find the off button. It’s all consuming. I know a couple of people who have such a high level of production they thrive in these conditions but most people I know burn out. We watch our calling go from a red hot fire to being nothing but smoldering ashes in a short amount of time.
And then what? What do you have to show for all the work you’ve put in? Does your next job application ask for the testimony of one of your disciples? Does your next job application ask how you learned to make effective volunteers? Does your next job application ask how well you could clearly communicate the Gospel? It does if you are switching to a ministry role but after 14 years of full time ministry I’ve watched only a couple of people move from one ministry to another ministry. The majority of people have transitioned out of full-time ministry to find their sanity and a pace of life they would rather have with a higher level of pay.
These questions are why you need your own place online. Stephen Covey would use the phrase “Sharpen your saw.”
Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
“What are you doing?” you ask.
“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”
“You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”
“Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m beat! This is hard work.”
‘Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inquire. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”
-Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Where do you process so your next employer can actually see what you think? And if you are a person who would transition between ministry employers, what are you providing that potential organization that would encourage them to call you? What are you doing to sharpen your saw around other passions that could contribute greatly to your life? Too many of us in full-time ministry operate in the daily reality where we have our head down working hard and we plow in our assigned field. And we can do it for years and in response to our obedience we may grow the most beautiful field. The field can be rich and abundant with an incredible harvest and this is what we are called to do now. But when we get called to something else we may be pointing at a field of wheat when our next employer is more interested in corn and all our hard work doesn’t translate. Much like Covey's quote above, we can reply with, "I don't have time to sharpen the saw...I'm too busy sawing!"
What is keeping you from having a place online to sharpen your saw? What's keeping you from leaning into your passions, learning more, and processing what you're learning in front of others? This online place could be the reason you land your next dream job.