Ministry vs Tent-Making

I spent nearly 27 hrs on a construction project at church over the weekend. I was so burned out, that I had to take Monday off work to recuperate. This recent experience brought to mind an entry in a “Spiritual Reflection Journal” that I had to keep for a class. Below is an excerpt from the entry for Monday, March 6, 2006.

In class, we’re learning that our Spiritual Passion defines the where for ministry, our Spiritual Gifts define the what, and our Personality defines the how. I know from experience that I have more energy, more motivation and more perseverance when working where I am passionate. But how is this experienced in the realm of ministry and divine guidance?

I am currently working a full-time job, participating in two ministries (with a commitment to a third, which starts in April) and occasionally taking on short-term projects. I feel stretched. I feel stressed.

I enjoy youth group on Friday nights, and I enjoy running the sound booth Sunday mornings. But at work, I feel tired. I occasionally have trouble concentrating. At home, I feel the stress of deadlines, from both work and ministry. My free time is limited and often snatched up by family or friends. I have little down time. Why is this?

If I were called into ministry, wouldn’t the Spirit fuel me for tent-making as well as ministry? How effective can I be if I always feel like I’m on the verge of burning out? Am I committing to too much? Or am I relying on myself rather than the Spirit?

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One Response to “Ministry vs Tent-Making”

  1. Sudi Says:

    You should’ve come to church with us Sunday night. We heard a powerful message about the “Empowering of the Holy Spirit” during the early church. It was intense and fabulous.

    So yes, I think sometimes we do rely on ourselves rather then the Lord.

    Other times we need to learn about boundaries and apply them. It is okay to say “no”. What a concept.

    Other times it might mean that we need to find a way to serve in areas where we are gifted. Those areas will bring the most joy and fulfillment because we were made to fit in them.

    “The need does not constitute the call”. Just because there is a need that does not mean Mark has to do it.

    By your high score on SERVANT gift, I can see how you really have a heart to serve and help the BODY any way you can. But it is okay to discriminate and pick and choose and see where your time, and GIFTS are better employed.

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