Church members and the American public have various perceptions about ministers. Some believe that ministers are not hard workers. Those of us who serve in local churches hear people say: “You guys only work one day a week!”
Ministers have challenging jobs. In many ways, ministers are never truly away from the office. Technology has only raised the intensity of their never-ending job. Weddings, funerals, emergencies, and responsibilities on Sundays prevent ministers from having weekends. Yet, with these realities and many more that I did not list, ministers should never be excused from working hard.
Three reasons why I believe ministers should be hard workers:
1: The Bible Charges Ministers to Work Hard
When Paul was instructing Timothy on the life of being a minister, he talks about the minister being like a soldier, an athlete, and a hardworking farmer. (2 Timothy 2) Unquestionably, we must be equipped like soldiers for the battles of ministry and persevere like athletes as we lead people, but we must also be like a hardworking farmer who works until he sees the harvest.
Humbly, ministers should be known to be hard workers. We cannot claim to be spiritual men if we do not work hard. Laziness should never exist in the life of the minister. Laziness should not be permitted or excused by anyone.
2: The Gospel Calls Ministers to Exhaust Themselves
I will never forget a conversation I shared with Jim Cymbala, pastor of the great Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in New York. He asked me to preach for him on a Sunday. It was a marvelous experience. I cannot recall how many services I preached, but it was several. I witnessed Pastor Cymbala lead worship during those services, pouring himself out in prayer and ministry, and leading his people diligently. At the close of the day I asked him, “Pastor, how do you do this each week, plus most of the time you are preaching as well?” He responded to me, “Ronnie, the Gospel calls me to exhaust myself daily for my people.
Pastor Cymbala was 100% correct! The Gospel of Jesus Christ calls every minister to exhaust himself for others. Even when we are weak physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, the Gospel calls us to exhaust ourselves. People are lost and hopeless without Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer. We must give ourselves away until complete exhaustion to advance this Gospel message and strive to reach person in the world.
3: The Testimony Challenges Ministers to Excel Before Others
A minister’s testimony becomes stronger before others when he works hard. Conversely, nothing lowers the testimony of a minister than when he is lazy. A lazy minister hurts himself not only in the eyes of his people, but he also hurts the testimony of his peers.
As ministers, we represent Jesus Christ. We are called to be a living testimony of Christ and His Gospel. Our work ethic either lends credibility to the Gospel and the church or it discredits it before the world.
While each minister can have hobbies and sports they enjoy, we should never become more dominated with them than we are with the consuming passion of our calling to advance the Gospel to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.
Yours For The Great Commission,