Jim Martin, over at his blog recently wrote a post on vocation. He raised some really good questions and I decided to go on and leave a comment there. After thinking about it further I decided that it was worthy of its own post. Here are some of my thoughts about this.

For the believer, there tends to be a disconnect between vocation as ministry and church as ministry. I would even go as far to include “life” as ministry. When people ask me, I respond that I am in ministry full-time. I am married with a family and I teach full-time in a public middle school. In addition to that I am a youth director at a church.

Admittedly, I get some weird looks when I say that but I can’t help but understand life that way when I look at 1 Corinthians 3:16 and see that we are God’s temple. Then I look at Colossians 3:17 & 3:23 and see that we are representing Jesus in all we say and do.

And for the ones who wonder what vocational ministers do all day I have them look at Ephesians 4:11, 12. Our role is to equip people to live life as ministry. Maybe it’s simplistic but I show them the Bible (youth and adults alike) and I ask if they will allow themselves to be transformed by God’s Word.

How do you look at life? Do you see it as ministry? Would life look differently if we viewed every action, every meeting, every conversation, or every person as an opportunity to minister?

Do you ever wonder if you miss out on what God wants because you are too busy with life? This just might help. I often challenge the youth I work with at church and school to view everything through this same lens.

I ask them questions like:

How does your music reflect who you serve (in other words, it might not be all about you)?

Or, how do you choose your relationships?

How do you spend your free time (or your money)?

What do you watch or read? Why does it matter?

How are you preparing for the future?

When we consider all areas of our life as ministry I believe we come closer to what God intends for us in service to Him. Then we don’t have to worry about what we’re going to do for a living or what our “calling” is. On the other hand, we do have to be concerned that every area of life reflect our love for the God we serve. That is a monumental responsibility and privilege.

Are you up to it?

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1. Tennis, youth ministry, and teaching school should not be done at the same time. I absolutely love doing what I do but it is so draining! It also takes its toll on me and my family.

2. Certain kinds of plastics leach harmful chemicals. I guess I knew that but I haven’t started paying attention to that until recently.

3. Chlorine and flouride could also be dangerous to the body.

Disclaimer: there is a lot of information and “research” out there and I am not a scientist. I do not attest to the accuracy of these claims. It has given me something to think about though.

4. The Sermon on the Mount passage in Matthew 5-7 is an amazing passage! We started studying it this summer with our youth group (3-D) and it is powerful. At the heart is the “heart.”

5. Impatience shows a lack of humility. This one has been really difficult for me to learn. It first got my attention as I was listening to a message by C.J. Mahaney. Here is the main idea – I get impatient when things don’t go my way. Selfishness is when I want things my way. Impatience, therefore, is a form of selfishness. When I am being selfish I do not have a proper view of myself. When I have an improper view of myself I do not look at God properly either. In the end it shows that I lack humility and need to re-orient my focus back towards God. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).”

6. Life is short. A friend of ours, approximately the same age, is going through the final stages of cancer. It makes you reconsider a lot of things.

7. My thinking goes all over the place and that’s okay!