If you do not pastor or serve on a church staff in some type of full-time position, I’m going to let you in on a “trade secret.”
Full-time ministers are not necessarily more spiritual or closer to Jesus.
In my early 20s, I left secular employment and headed to seminary. I loved seminary (which tells you I am a serious book nerd), but I looked forward to the time I would serve a church full-time—and my day would be full of prayer, the Word, and constant communion with Jesus.
That day came—and my life was no more full of prayer, the Word, and constant communion with Jesus than it was when I had a “real job.” I was exceedingly busy in ministry, yet I discovered it was very easy to do things for Jesus without doing things with Jesus. And that is a constant battle every minister worth his weight in commentaries can affirm.
Jesus doesn’t want me simply doing things for His kingdom. He wants me.
During His last night with His disciples, Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5). This is a powerful statement of our dependence on Christ, not just for salvation, but for every aspect of life. Throughout John 15:1-8, Jesus called His disciple—and us—to remain in Him. It’s a call to reside in Him continually, to constantly and consciously “hang out with Jesus.”
Is that important? Well, yeah. With a little skill and practice, just about anyone can preach … lead a Bible study … share the gospel … serve … even endure a weekend as a youth sponsor. But if you want these actions to actually mean something—have an eternal impact—do it while you’re in a state of constant communion with Jesus. Read verse 5 in its entirety:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus calls us all to follow Him—and He calls us to live lives with purpose, serving His kingdom. And that will only happen as we let Him fill us and empower us.
Remain in Jesus.
This post supports the study “Our Need for Purpose” in Bible Studies for Life.