Ministry for a Lifetime

Key insights by Kevin Pate

Kevin Pate is an elegant spokesman for and about the intersection of the marketplace and ministry - something that impacts all of us. I’ve written extensively about the funding source for future ministry which I have titled “Future Funded Ministry”. Now, we are exploring the expanded and key faith basis for understanding what it means to be Faithful for a Lifetime.

A key foundational component of that is understanding the issue Kevin Pate addresses in this article, “We are all ‘Ministers’ together”. John Calvin and other reformers talked about the “Priesthood of all Believers” and it is clear that we now need a Retirement Reformation. The message that follows is critical to understanding and embracing that Reformation. 

Proclaim That God Calls ALL People into Full-Time Christian Service

Every Christian has been called into full-time ministry.

When Christ commissioned His followers, He did not designate a select few vocational pastors, missionaries or faithful congregation members, but rather He appointed all believers as ministers of the Gospel.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
— 1 Peter 2:9

The work of the Kingdom falls squarely on the shoulders of all Christians with no calling greater than another. Unfortunately, many marketplace people are taught that the work they do is in some way inferior or less valuable to God. They designate themselves ‘second class’ citizens in God’s Kingdom because their work is somehow less holy or sacred than that of church workers.

But there is no biblical tier system that ranks the callings of believers as higher or lower than another.

In fact, the marketplace Christian who spends six days a week outside church walls is no less important or valuable to the Kingdom than the Christian who holds a prominent position within the church.

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began God’s universal calling for all Christians is into full-time ministry.
— 2 Timothy 1:9

We are "on-call" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with no part-time positions available. All are called to live their lives according to biblical truths and principles on a daily basis – not just on Sundays. Nowhere in scripture is there an option for casual or intermittent Christian living. Instead, there is a charge to continually abide in Christ, dwelling in the Lord and actively participating in His kingdom moment by moment of every day. It is, after all, the key to experiencing the fullness of God and fulfillment in the life He has called us to live.

Actively Dispel the Sacred/Secular Myth

Many Christians envision church and work as two separate entities, one of which is ‘sacred’ and the other ‘secular’. But the premise that there is some kind of imaginary wall dividing one category from another is a lie that needs to be exposed.

We should not isolate any part of our lives as secular when Scriptures clearly state that everything is sacred in the eyes of God.

In fact, Christians thrive when adhering to the truth that work and faith are so intricately connected that they cannot be separated in the mind of God.

One problem with "sacred" and "secular" grouping is it suggests those labeled areas of one’s life must exist apart from each other. It presents the idea that those areas are somehow morally and spiritually incompatible. Yet the necessities of living compel Christians to constantly cross back and forth from one to the other, producing personal turmoil and division that causes our inner lives to break up – the antithesis of a unified life.

A quick reflection on this message:

This impact of this message is to engage every one of us for a lifetime of ministry.

As Christian leaders, this message informs not only our personal involvement but the concurrent responsibility to engage our staff and those we influence with the same message.

The reality for each of us and those we impact is that all are in full-time Christian service and we are to be in ministry for a lifetime, not just a season.

Because of the 30-year retirement time frame and the reality of longevity, it is time we embrace a rethinking of retirement - a Retirement Reformation.

Stay tuned for more!

Come along on our Journey with Trusted Advice along The Way.

Bruce