Do They Really Have to Choose?

written by Mark DeVries
4 · 10 · 15

I’ve got a brilliant young friend with a passionate heart for ministry. He got his degree in business, while spending a significant portion of his time as a leader in a ministry to high school students.

When I called him, months before his graduation, to ask whether he’d consider joining the staff of our youth ministry, his immediate answer was, well, less than positive. He had never imagined himself being the “church guy.” He had always seen himself as a business guy who, sure, would always be doing ministry, inside and outside the church, as a volunteer.

He eventually came on our staff, did an incredible job, and now has transitioned to working part time for the church and part time in a business/ministry of his own with a much higher ceiling of opportunity.

I wonder if his track doesn’t give us a hint about what we should be looking for as the church’s future game changers. I wonder if the church will have the wisdom, creativity and flexibility to receive highly gifted folks who refuse to pretend that having a single career is somehow more faithful than multi-careering.

Could it be that the anemia afflicting much of the ministry world has to do has with the fact that so many of its full-time leaders have no life outside their consuming ministry “jobs”? Could we be seeing the toppling of the MIC (Ministerial Industrial Complex), with a new kind of minister finding a third way of ministry between full-time ministry and full-time something else?

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Mark DeVries

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