As someone who has served for many years in the position of lay pastor I want to share an encouraging word to you who serve whether as pastors, worship leaders or unpaid secretaries, accountants, education directors or musicians. If you sometimes feel unappreciated, less qualified or unnecessary take a deep breath and consider a few short points today.
A) Being a lay minister is a not a lower calling
and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tent makers by trade. 1 Corinthians 18:3
In the first century the most famous example of lay ministry may be the apostle Paul. While for a part of his ministry he was supported by the churches he served, he spent a great deal of his time working with his own hands to provide for his needs. While that seems pretty distant to us think of Pastor Rick Warren who serves at Saddleback church without a salary. In a strange sort of way Pastor Rick is also a fellow lay minister. We are neither higher nor lower than any other servant in God’s church but we are certainly different!
B) Being a lay minister gives us a unique perspective
The term laity came from a Greek root meaning “Of the people” Being of the people is exactly what Jesus was for most of His life. When He began to preach in Nazareth His neighbors were shocked!
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them Mark 6:3-6
Being of the people Jesus knows and understands what we are going through. He can sympathize with our struggles in a way He could not have from the throne in heaven. In that same manner you are put in a privileged position among people with an opportunity that a paid full time minister will never have. Rather than moping over where you work realize that where you work is your Nazareth. Some people will not appreciate what God has called you to do, but the ones whom you reach for Jesus Christ can not be reached by anyone else!
There’s lots more to share so stay tuned for the next points in my next post. I’d write more today but I gotta go to work!!!