Those of us whose ministry is also our job have an ongoing challenge.
There is a certain amount of work and business that has to be addressed. How much can we spend on something worthwhile versus how much we will make on it? Should we speak at some small venues that can’t pay much or only at the big ones? Do we write what will sell or what God lays on our hearts? How much time should we spend on mission projects that actually cost money and pay nothing, versus engagements that pay the bills? Do we nurture relationships simply to be a blessing, or do we focus on the ones that will be advantageous?
Yuck. The business of ministry raises uncomfortable questions. When does it stop being ministry and become business?
Where and when do we cross that line?
When I let someone pressure me into something God has not told me to do.
When I consider the money before I seek God’s guidance.
When I approach a project without praying and immersing myself in His Word first.
When what I want to say becomes more important than what God wants me to say.
When I care more about how it will benefit me than how it will benefit others.
When I respond unkindly.
When I see people as “in the way.”
Most of us are well-intentioned and sincere. We love God, love people and want to give. But selfishness is a subtle, silent stalker. It creeps up on us and little by little, corrupts our motives.
Consider the following quote from a commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:3:
“If I can write articles or publish books that win applause, but fail to transcribe the Word of the Cross into the language of His love, I am nothing.”
Ministry is supposed to be about loving and serving. If those aren’t our bottom line, we have compromised our spiritual integrity.
“Oh God, keep us humble. Keep us grateful. Keep us honest. And above all, keep us surrendered. Amen.”