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April 2, 2020

Dear Pastor, Please help me understand my ministry

Church Member • Church-Based Ministry
Pastors often do not understand the disconnect that often exists between the man or woman in the pew and the paid pastoral leaders. Here is a letter written from a workplace believer wanting to live for Christ in the workplace but often feels untrained.
Dear Pastor,

For some time now I have felt the need to write you this letter. Let me first say I want to thank you for what you do in helping me learn more about how I can grow in my relationship with Jesus. Your contributions to my spiritual life are so important and are greatly appreciated.

But, there are times I think that you and I may have a wrong view of each other. For instance, sometimes as a person in the workplace, I sometimes feel I may be valued for the financial contributions I can make, or the ministry position I can fill "at church". Pastor, sometimes this makes me feel disconnected and de-valued. I know God has created me for a unique purpose, and like you, He has called me for a special ministry, but I don't always sense that it is a ministry "at church". I know God has given me spiritual gifts and I believe that we should all contribute to the local church function, as well as to the broader Kingdom. Sometimes I feel that the church spends more time equipping me to do the church's ministry instead of my ministry. I love our church and I really have a heart to serve. Can you help me reconcile these feelings? I want to understand and fulfill my purpose, my life ministry.

God has begun to show me something very important. My work is my ministry. I feel that God has "called" me and that I am a minister in the workplace, in the same way He has called you to be a pastor. I really see my ministry at work as an extension of your ministry and an extension of our church. But, we don't often discuss ministry in this fashion, and sometimes I sense that my ministry at the workplace does not seem to fit the mission and philosophy of ministry in our church. You see, I believe my ministry is in the workplace to my co-workers who have never been inside a church building. They don't really relate to anything about our church so our primary hope of reaching them is through people like me, ministering at work - in the world. I may be the only "Jesus" they ever see. Pastor, I wish you could see the people here at work. They are so open to talking about spiritual things.

As I read the Bible, it seems like Jesus spent most of his time reaching people in the marketplace. It seems obvious this is where he found most of the people. You have taught me to follow His example. I am finally beginning to understand what you have taught us from Ephesians 4: 11-12. "And 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". I agree with you, that as my Pastor, God has assigned you the responsibility to equip me for "the work of ministry." God has revealed to me that my greatest ministry is at work. I need your help with training so that I can fulfill my "election" and calling to my ministry. Maybe we could all use more biblical teaching about how we are ministers and how are to respond to this ministry assignment in this vast untapped mission field.

Pastor, I read that many of the revivals and awakenings that have taken place started in the marketplace? Revivals such as the one that started in 1858 in New York that spread across the country began because of the faithfulness of a person in the marketplace.  Near Wall Street, Jeremiah Lanphier started holding a noon-day prayer meeting in 1857. That was the beginning of the entire movement that resulted in the greatest spiritual awakening in America. Over one million people were saved. I discovered that this man's church equipped him and commissioned him to do this. Many believe the same thing is beginning today. Henry Blackaby recently wrote, "�in the Bible, most of the activity of God that changed society was done in the workplace and not in the church�"

Since we spend 70% of our waking hours in the workplace it is vital that we discern how God wants us to use all this time and workplace opportunity. We desire to understand Biblical principles about our work, and how we can relate to these spiritually hungry people in our workplace so that we can ultimately introduce these people to Jesus, and then equip them in our church. Would you consider teaching us to become effective ministers at work? We need to grasp this reality personally - that our relationship with God is not separate from our "work". Those of us in the workplace desire your help, affirmation, and endorsement so we can all fulfill our "ministries". Maybe you would even consider commissioning those of us that are ready as fellow ministers in the workplace. Wouldn't it be great if members of our church would see themselves as "on a mission at work"? Christians taking their position of spiritual authority in the workplace! Just think of the impact the members of our church could make. This would be true multiplication! Pastor, I know you have a desire to see our congregation reach more people. If we shared your vision and we were committed to reaching the largest mission field in the world - our workplaces, just think what could be done. Wow! What would God do through an army of excited, motivated workplace Christians accountable to the local church as workplace ministers? We might really begin to fulfill the great commission in a new revolutionary way. Please pastor, train us and let us go! I love you and appreciate all that you do. I hope that together we can reach the people in my workplace.

Very truly yours,

Your church member


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