Get a job.
Acts 18:3 “Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”
Let us not forget that this great man of God, who knew the Spirit, possessed many gifts, who was a powerful preacher and teacher, a master of the Old Testament and Judaism had a job.
Let us remember that the Apostle Paul spent his days not on prayer-mountain or in an office of books or behind a pulpit or under a mountain of important paper work but sat working the leather making tents.
He had a manual job that paid him money. Even an Apostle needs money. No one is above needing to earn money.
- He didn’t want people to accuse him of leading people to Christ in order to finance himself (1 Corinthians 9:15-18).
- The Jewish Rabbis believed that accompanying the study of the Torah with some secular occupation helped to put sin out of their mind.
This week I told the new batch of missionaries soon to be commissioned that if they can work at something to help support themselves then to go and do it.
One of our missionaries in Africa who leads a great church planting movement helps to provide a new church planter with a small grant to set up a business. The church planter goes out equipped in God’s word, church planting strategies and the means to support themselves.
A couple of years ago a UK church sent a missionary couple with one year’s wages. I told the couple to find a part-time job, half the church’s money so that it would stretch to 2 years support. That’s what they did and it meant that the couple were able to reach more people and it gave them 2 years to plant a new church that would support them.
It is okay to get a job.
It is not surprising the loneliness of some in ministry today whether in the UK or overseas. Loneliness is dangerous because it can lead to destructive paths of thought and behaviour. There may be a place for the counselling of those who are lonely but it may be just a case of encouraging them to get a job.
How often do we hear it being said that a church can only just afford to pay its Pastor. It suggests there is nothing left at all for investing in evangelism and missions. Perhaps the church needs to rethink its expectations on the Pastor and for him/her to get a job.
The Apostle Paul had a job to support himself though he recognised his right to be supported by those he ministered to (1 Corinthians 9:7-14).
Maybe the great breakthrough that is wanted will come when the Pastor, Church planter, missionary gets a job.
I realise that this devotional thought may not be popular with those who don’t want a job. But it just may release those who have been trapped by the false notion that being a ‘full-time paid’ worker is the sign that you have made it, you have reached the top and that amongst every great thing that the person is doing it is totally fine to get a job.