Full-Time, Part-Time or Spare-Time Ministry?
As a disciple of Jesus, do you have a full-time or a part-time ministry?
Or is yours “only” spare-time?
No matter what your answer is, following Jesus is neither one. If you are his disciple, you are what you are twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That’s neither full-time nor part-time nor spare-time.
The reason for that? Discipleship isn’t based on a service, a duty or a program. It’s neither an employment nor a hobby.
Discipleship is a relationship - your relationship with Jesus. And as his disciple you are a child of God; that’s a position, and again a relationship. Everything you do is done within that relationship and can be seen as an expression of it.
On the other hand, churches and denominations offer employments, full-time or part-time. And they engage volunteers in their spare-time.
All these workers have their specific responsibilities and duties. They follow the instructions, meet people’s needs, and try to make everyone happy.
On top of that, they probably have an idea of listening to the Lord and try to follow him.
Doing both of these doesn’t always work out so well. Following Jesus and fulfilling the requirements for an employee or volunteer aren’t automatically the same.
Following Jesus isn’t the same as building an organization or pleasing the people around you. If it works out for you, that’s fine. As long as it lasts.
At worst, you may feel like having to serve two masters, which can lead to conflict, frustration and stress, and sometimes even burn-out.
Jesus worked hard, yet never seemed to get any of these symptoms. Is it, because he only served one master and never submitted to people’s expectations?
Thus, he was free to wholeheartedly listen to the Spirit and obey the One who had sent him.