“Dear Pastor, please help me understand my ministry”
For some time now I have felt the need to write you this letter. Let me first say I want to thank you for what you do in helping me learn more about how I can grow in my relationship with Jesus. Your contributions to my spiritual life are so important and are greatly appreciated.
But, there are times I think that you and I may have a wrong view of each other. For instance, sometimes as a person in the workplace, I feel I may be valued only for the financial contributions I can make to the church, or the ministry position I should be filling “at church.” Pastor, sometimes this makes me feel disconnected and de-valued. I know God has created me for a unique purpose, and like you, He has called me for a special ministry, but I don’t always sense that it is a ministry “at church”. I know God has given me Spiritual gifts and I enjoy making contributions to the Church as well as to the broader Kingdom. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I sense that my ministry at my workplace does not seem to fit the mission and philosophy of ministry in our church. And yet, I love our church and I really have a heart to serve. Can you help me understand how to reconcile these feelings? I want to give more than just money to the work of God. I want to understand and fulfill my purpose, my life ministry.
Sometimes I feel that the church spends more time equipping me to do the church’s ministry instead of my ministry. God has begun to show me something very important. My work is my ministry. I feel that God has “called” me to this work and that I have been called as a minister in the workplace, in the same way He has called you to be a pastor. I really see it as an extension of your ministry and an extension of the ministry of our church. But, we don’t often discuss ministry in this fashion. You see, I believe my ministry is in the workplace to my co-workers who have never been inside a church building. They don’t really relate to anything about our church so our primary hope of reaching them is through people like me, ministering at work. I may be the only “Jesus” they ever see. Pastor, I wish you could see the people here at work. They are so open to talking about spiritual things.
As I read the Bible, it seems like Jesus spent most of his time reaching people in the marketplace. It was obviously where he found most of the people. You have taught me to follow his example. I am finally beginning to understand what you have taught us from Ephesians 4: 11-12. “And He Himself gave some to be…pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry”. I agree with you, that as my Pastor, God has assigned you the responsibility to equip me for “the work of the ministry.” God has revealed to me that my greatest ministry is at work. I need your help. I need more training on my calling and on how to reach people at work. Maybe we could all use more biblical teaching about how everyone has been “called to minister” and how everyone is “on mission” at work.
Pastor, I read that many of the revivals and awakenings that have taken place started in the marketplace? Revivals such as the one that started in 1858 in New York that spread across the country began because of the faithfulness of a person in the marketplace. Near Wall Street, Jeremiah Lanphier started holding a noon-day prayer meeting in 1857. That was the beginning of the entire movement that resulted in the greatest spiritual awakening in America. Over one million people were saved. I discovered that this man’s church equipped him and commissioned him to do this. Many believe the same thing is beginning today. Henry Blackaby recently wrote, “…in the Bible, most of the activity of God that changed society was done in the workplace and not in the church…”
I have realized that God knows the gifts He has given us, and that He wants to use them to build His Church. And Pastor, since we spend 70% of our waking hours in the workplace it is vital that we understand that God has called us to minister in the workplace. We must discern how God wants us to use all this time and workplace opportunity. We must have help understanding Biblical principles about our work and how we can relate to these spiritually hungry people in our workplace so that we can ultimately introduce these people to Jesus and to our local church. Would you consider teaching us about our “calling” in life, the purpose of work, and how faith and work cannot be separated? We need your help to understand our calling so we can all fulfill our ministries. Maybe you would even consider commissioning us for our ministries in the workplace. Wouldn’t it be great if every member of our church would see themselves as “on mission” Christians in the workplace! Just think of the impact the members of our church could make.
Pastor, I know you have a desire to see our congregation reach more people. If we shared your vision and we were committed to reaching the largest mission field in the world – our workplaces – just think what could be done. Wow! What would God do through an army of excited, motivated workplace Christians accountable to the local church as missionaries? We might really begin to fulfill the great commission. Please pastor, train us and let us go! I love you and appreciate all that you do. I hope that together we can reach the people in my workplace.
Very truly yours,
Your Church Member