“Great day, no, I’m not a minister! I’m a doctor, a lawyer, an Indian chief; accountant, mother, car dealer, student, waitress…; I’m unemployed.”
The correct answer to the question is, yes. Yes, you are a minister. Howard Hendricks says, “Your profession is what you get paid to do. Your calling is what you were made to do,” and you were created to connect with God and represent His life in and through you. 1
The Bible says that whatever we do, we are to do everything to the glory of God.2 Paul stated that whether he lived or died, his sole purpose was to honor God.3 Corinthians says we are ambassadors for Christ.4 Peter writes that we are to always be ready to give account for the hope that resides deep in our hearts.5 Elsewhere, Scripture exhorts that we are to be ready in season and out of season when it comes to expressing the message of God’s Word.6
Ministry is who you are day in, day out while engaged in a profession that allows you to earn a living. Simply: a minister is one who allows the Spirit of God to express Himself in them and through them. Being a minister doesn’t have anything to do with what is on your business card or whether you went to seminary. Ministry is part of who you are every day as a person in Christ Jesus.
Every now and then I hear people speak of their ministry to children at the church, or through teaching a Sunday School class, or organizing the ladies’ retreat. I rarely hear a businessman refer to his company as his ministry. I don’t hear many parents classify their family as their ministry. But, we should rethink.
My wife, Dianne, teaches Pre-kindergarten in a public school. She says it is her mission field, which means the three R’s are simply a venue through which she ministers as Father affords opportunity.
I often help executives embrace the concept that a presentation to the Board of Directors is ministry. Don’t misunderstand: I realize that a financial report to the directors is a different discussion than a Bible study. But trusting that God’s Spirit is living through you to accomplish what’s on His mind is just as valid a ministry in the boardroom as it is in the Bible study.
You are a minister. Embrace this about yourself. Carry yourself as such. Scripture says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”7 Think about who you are—a minister—and you will conduct yourself as a minister.
Live with this conviction—you don’t even have to talk about it—and your life will be a ministry statement about God. Live with this conviction and your profession will afford you the opportunity to demonstrate what it means to have Christ living in and through you. That is ministry.
Ministry is not something you do. Work is what you do. Minister is who you are as a person filled with the Spirit of God.
1 cf. 2 Cor. 3:6; 2Col. 3:17, 2 3; 3 Phil. 1:20-21; 4 2 Cor. 5:20; 5 1 Pt. 3:15; 6 2 Tm. 4:2; 7 Pro. 23:7a