Don’t know what to do next in life?
Just go to Ministry School!
It will fix all of your problems.
I don’t know if any of you have ever had this mentality, but that was definitely the thought process before my senior year of high school. Maybe it was the fact that my parents were pastors (God knew I needed a lot of healing from that), or just the impending doom of finishing the lifestyle that I had known for 12 years.
I graduated high school a year and a half ago, in June of 2014. The last semester of my senior year was spent in anticipation of finally escaping the prison of hormones and pointless math equations, but it was also a time of immense fear of the future. I had decided early on that college was not for me. Even though I loved learning, I was tired of feeling like I wasn’t understood by anyone around me.
A bit of background about who I was in high school: I wanted to fit in and sometimes I felt like Jesus wasn’t helping that.
So there I was, absolutely sure I wasn’t going to go to college, and the most logical solution to my dilemma was to go to ministry school. I decided to go to my church’s School of Revival, while interning in my spare time. I though that becoming a pastor would be the best thing for me to do. I would be able to make the most impact in others lives by being a pastor, and I would easily be able to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life and the lives of the church around me. Before I knew it, classes started and my life became wrapped up in the most beautiful love story I have ever experienced. Obviously God has loved me since the beginning of time, but I was finally beginning to realize to what extent He actually does.
Sitting in class day after day, I started to get this feeling of discontentment bubbling within me. Not exactly the feeling I wanted to have while spending time with Jesus. But it wasn’t discontent with my life or school. I began to realize that the thing I was learning about in all my classes was Jesus’ lifestyle, and His life was filled with love and compassion for those around Him. Jesus didn’t only come to save the Jews, but He came to save the Gentiles, too. He did the unthinkable and He welcomed the Untouchable and Unforgivable into His family. People like the prostitutes. The tax collectors. The terrorists. The liars. Those who were abandoned. Even the Romans. Those who didn’t even deserve to sit in the same room as Him were now welcomed into His embrace. Not only on earth, but also in Heaven.
If Jesus wasn’t fazed by sin, then why was I? I believed that the only way I could make a difference was in the pulpit. If what I had learned about Jesus was true, why did I feel like I should stay inside a church building the rest of my life?
Being a pastor is an amazing job, but it requires a lot of sacrifice. As I had said earlier, my parents are pastors and I think that they are some of the most incredible, diligent, caring people who I know (what can I say? I’m biased).
If you feel called to be a pastor, or work in the church, please do not feel as though I am shooting you down. All I am saying is that in a church of 200, maybe 20% will work on staff there (maybe). The rest of us 80% are called to be pastors outside the church.
“Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”
― A.W. Tozer,
Some of the most anointed men in the bible were known for their “worldly” successes. Daniel was a successful “sorcerer” because he relied on the Holy Spirit to provide him wisdom. Joseph became a political leader because of the favor placed on his life. Gideon was a mighty warrior because God lead him in battle. Moses and Aaron saved God’s people from the Pharaoh of Egypt because God gave them courage. The first time the Holy Spirit hit was when the tabernacle was being built. He gave certain men knowledge in a specific craft, so they could do their jobs better. God cares about the success of His children, not so they can have more money or be famous, but because He loves this earth. He is waiting on us to ask Him for the answers to the really difficult problems in life; He already has the solution.
Pretty much everyone knows the slightly cliché song, “This Little Light of Mine” (If you don’t, please get with the program). We sing it with the idea that the light inside of us is Jesus, and when we shine it’s His love shining out. While that is true, what if the light inside of you became the cure for cancer, a better education system in your state, or even something as simple as the answer to a hard test?
The Holy Spirit wants to help heal, but He also wants to start sharing information that even those who don’t know His voice want to hear. People can deny prayer, but they won’t deny answers to their questions.
So now I am at college. With the help of God, I realized that I love learning too much to stop at high school. I have a passion to become the best middle school teacher I can be, and it is because I know that Jesus has a heart for every one of my future students. And while I’m sure He would have loved me every bit as much if I had decided to stay in ministry school and pursue that lifestyle, I am confident that He will make my path successful as a teacher.
The biggest thing I learned at ministry school was to not be in a ministry school. To step outside of the church. To follow what is right for me.
Maybe someday I’ll even be able to be a part of a change to better the education system in North Carolina. With God, any problem has a solution.
So what solution is the world waiting to hear from the Holy Spirit inside of you?
Wherever you are, you are in full time ministry. So sing it out, “I’ll let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”