5 Things I’ve Learned Since Leaving Full-Time Ministry

life after ministry

There are 5 key things I’ve learned about life after ministry.

I still remember it quite well. I had recently come to faith in Christ and everything was electric; everything in my young world was radically changing. I was a new creation, and I knew it.

Our church’s youth group had a great youth pastor and a great youth staff. We had recently experienced some sort of revival, if you will, amongst the teenagers that took our mediocre size of about 40 kids—most of which were not interested in God at all—and put a fire in our bones that propelled us to reach out to our peers.

Within a few short months, 40 turned into more than 120, and we were all running around excited for Jesus.

Those were good times. Great times, actually.

And, to this day, perhaps the only truly authentic “move of God” that I have ever been a part of.

But something else was going on in those early days as well. Something I remember so clearly.

A lot of the young people in our group were suddenly seeking God about “the call” that He had on our lives and, even more, whether or not we had a “call to full-time ministry.”

I certainly wanted know what God—this amazing God I had recently come to know—had planned for my life. I remember going forward in church one fateful morning, getting on my knees and saying something very close to these words: Lord, they say you have a call on my life, and, if that’s true, I guess you had better tell me what that is because I want to do what you want me to do. Amen.

I waited there a moment and then began to stand up. But before I even fully stood up, a woman—whom I didn’t know—came up to me and said, “God just told me to tell you that you are called, and that call is to full-time ministry. When you want to know more, come and find me.”

And then she walked off.

Needless to say, I was stunned. I had never seen or heard of such a quick and obvious answer to prayer in my entire—albeit short—spiritual life.

After the initial shock settled down, I surveyed the room, located the woman and set out directly for her. Walking up to her with energy in my step and excitement in my voice I said, “I want to know more NOW!”

This sincere woman shared a vision with me that she had at the same moment I was praying for God to show me what to do with my life. And I listened to every word with intensity. I felt like my life’s story was being written by the words rolling off her lips.

As she finished, I managed to say “thank you” and then sat down to consider what had just been said.

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Jake Ray
Jake Ray is a former Pastor and Church leader. Today he is a father, friend, consultant, coach and entrepreneur. He loves CrossFit, live music, Roller Derby and bacon.