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3 Reasons You Should Not Pursue Full-Time Ministry

full time ministry

It is wonderful to be called into full time ministry, but be careful of being hasty about your decision to pursue that path.

The mission of the church is amazing. It’s all about transformation. We are all separated from God until we are redeemed by the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

We are saved by grace, but we are also changed by grace.

What is that transformation intended to accomplish? Certainly to worship God and live a life of biblical values, but to what end?

We are all called to ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). So that the whole body of Christ becomes mature attaining the fullness of Christ. (Transformed!)

A great question is: Are you called to full time vocational ministry or marketplace ministry? Both are equally valid and powerful.

There is nothing larger or more significant than the Kingdom of God and our privilege to serve and advance the mission. Whether you represent Jesus on staff at a church or as someone in the marketplace, we’re all on the same team.

One of my great personal passions is to see sharp young teens and adults called to vocational ministry, but I’m also aware that those numbers will always be small compared to the gigantic army of Christians who are out in business and the nonprofit sectors of society. It is this “army” that will be counted amongst the greatest force ever to change the world.

What to Beware of with Full Time Ministry

With that context in mind, here are three things that are not good reasons to pursue full time vocational ministry.

1) You think God is calling you to full time ministry but you are not sure.

The truth is, if there is anything other than a full time ministry that you can do and be fulfilled, happy and productive, you should do it. Only follow a path to full time ministry if God’s call gives you no other option. Don’t experiment with full time ministry. If you are unsure, serve as a leader in your church first. Test your call by looking for:

  • “Fruit” (very productive results) and joy (deep meaning and satisfaction)
  • Confirmation from church leadership
  • Doors opening with opportunities for you to serve at a church

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.