I’ll never forget my first job in a traditional ministry. Because well, I hated it.
I’ll also never forget this past summer, when I was floating on my back down the Ocoee River and thought to myself “this is home”.. or when the Lord delicately whispered “this is who you are now, my love” as I was crawling through a cave.
You see, growing up, I wasnt the type that liked to come inside or stay clean. Technically I grew up Catholic, but I promise you I was fidgeting around in that silly school girl skirt and dreaming of living on a sail boat somewhere while the priest spoke.
I even met God on the Nepali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii. There was nothing traditional about my experiences with Him… so why did I keep accepting jobs in traditional ministry settings?
Well, for one, I craved normality. Even to this day, theres this part of me that is desperate to live in the suburbs or back in the country and be a stay at home mama that home schools and bake cookies all day and work behind the scenes as the men lead.. because hey, that’s not a bad life at all. I’ve met so people who live that life and let me tell you, its beautiful.
(And maybe I will one day. I dont know).
Secondly, I thought I had to.
You see, I didn’t really grow up as a Christian, so once I became one, I was immediately bombarded with articles, sermon series, blogs and whatever else you can think of that were going to teach me how to be a “biblical woman” and let me tell you, none of them mentioned being a white water rafting guide or traveling writer (or any “secular” job for that matter).
Also, everyone I knew was being called to seminary or missions and with me not knowing a lot, I thought I was supposed to be called to that too.
So that’s just what I told people. I said “I’m going to seminary” with all the pride I could muster up but on the inside, I was dying more and more with each person I told.
So, once I realized this, when there were all womens bible studies, I either didn’t show up or I didn’t talk.
And it’s not to shame any of them. There were a lot of biblical truths and amazing women there that I’ve learned a lot from when it comes to family, grace, kindness, nurturing.. you name it and they did it.
But I didn’t want to admit that traditional ministry or ministry itself was a route I wasnt so sure of.
Honestly, sometimes it was funny to watch peoples reactions when I told them I was considering working at a camp or living out of a van or just being a white water rafting guide for a season because I’ve always wanted to.
But most of the time it just hurt.
I didn’t like telling people that traditional ministry or even ministry itself was the route I didn’t see myself taking and to be honest I still don’t.
It was almost as if it was going to be impossible for me to talk about Jesus outside of the church. Or how could I love God and not want to work in a church or after school program? (hahaha do I have quite the opinion about that).
But hey, here’s what I have to say. When Jesus said go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28), He didn’t mean “okay but like only go and make disciples in the areas where people are somewhat aware of me and expect you to show up at some point to tell them more.
Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Yes.
Because here’s the thing: if you love Jesus and are dedicated to sharing his gospel through loving and truthful actions, it doesn’t matter where you work.
Just because you believe in God doesnt mean you HAVE to go into traditional ministry.. and what a relief.
The church is a beautiful, amazing, wonderful things full of godly people who are changing this world everyday… but not everyone is going to be called there.
(I obviously love the church. I just dont want to work there).
That wouldn’t make any sense and that would be quite a small nation of disciples.
So, whether you’re a mama, in sales, food service, writing, marketing, graphic design, sports management, health coaching, finance, interior design and whatever else is out there, please know that you are also making an impact and you can make disciples right where you’re at.
God wouldn’t have put you there if He didn’t think the same thing.
All my love,