“I think I will sell my business and go into the ministry.”

“I think I will sell my business and go into the ministry.”
It was during a break in a Marketplace Ministry seminar that I was conducting when the very serious man said that to me. I said: “why would you do that?” To which he responded “I am tired of dealing with people’s problems.” My first impression was to laugh… I didn’t; at least I hope I didn’t. He was serious and I thought he was joking. You see, there are at least three problems with that statement.
Number one: ministry is not something you “go into.” Ministry is a part of your everyday life. It is born out of Paul’s statement in Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Somewhere, sometime, a long time ago, we began to equate “ministry” with a profession: Pastor, worship leader, missionary and the like. In the process we eliminated a huge portion of the Body of Christ from the high privilege of ministry. Ministry became something that only a small number of people could do: “the called.”
Pastors had the idea that “ministry” was something they did on Sunday…preaching and teaching. We missed another of Paul’s admonitions from Ephesians 4: “He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry.” The task on Sunday from the pulpit is more than ministry; it is equipping the saints to do ministry the rest of the week.
Ok, the second problem with the confused business man was this: his business was his ministry. He didn’t need to sell it, or leave it, instead he needed to begin to see the ministry that God had placed in front of him. His employees were his congregation; he had both the opportunity and responsibility to become a minister to this group that Father had given him.
The third issue that needed to be better understood was the “people’s problems” part of his statement. Yes, people have problems, and instead of running away from them, we need to be prepared to direct them to the One who can help. I remember the words from an old Andre Crouch song: “And if I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that God could solve them.”
Let me wrap this up this way: Every day you will meet people who have problems, begin to see that God has you in the exact spot you are in to minister to these folks the Love of God. He is there with you at work, at home, on vacation and in church. You are His minister!