Jesus Lovers Don’t Vie for Job Security

In my short era of working within and for various churches as both a paid worker and a volunteer, I have seen a lot of people who get into political vying to keep ministry positions.

It’s certainly practical to want to stay employed, and to make sure you’re doing well at what your particular “job” is.  Even within the church, we need to do our job well, as for God and not as a people pleaser.  We are to obey our earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as we would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord.” (Ephesians 6)

Yet what I’ve often seen in the church is a form of patronization.  People will say anything, do anything, and even play insidious political games in order to keep their role or position in the church, and ultimately, their salary as well.  It ought not to be this way.

When we have a culture like this that exists in the church, everything of integrity falls to pieces.  When people who play games and vie for position and security have a voice that’s heeded, those that have integrity and want to serve out of sincerity get thrown under the bus.  It’s often backwards in our American church culture as opposed to the ways of scripture.

When John talks about “the world”, he says this:  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2)

It’s simple enough, the world in scripture is not defined as “those outside the church”, or “THAT style of music”, it’s defined as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”.  Yet it’s truly disheartening to the Lord’s heart to see his people covet and compete and play a role in ministry when they’re called to be above reproach, honest, self-sacrificing and courageous.

To truly follow Christ in America is to abandon the trappings of job security, and follow Him at all costs.  Even if it means losing a job for the sake of lifting someone else up.  Even if it means getting black labeled and falsely accused by a fellow “brother in the Lord”.  We are not commanded to be faithful to institutions, men or human doctrines.  We are called and commanded to be faithful to the Word of God, no matter what hardships will come.  And when we sense that those hardships are overwhelming, we only need to remember our brothers & sisters overseas in persecuted countries who face hardships we couldn’t imagine.

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6 thoughts on “Jesus Lovers Don’t Vie for Job Security

  1. Ben, I like your passion and these are clear words. His Kingdom is not of this world. Your comments are insightful. For those in vocational ministry that I have observed, known closely, and seen go through this, what I admire is that they can have grace and not be bitter. In the end, the person who doesnt play politics and loses their position is the one that gains, even if not in this life or in tangible ways. Leadership needs to set the example and reward integrity, true sprituality, and job excellence.

    • Thanks John, good to hear from you.

      You’re absolutely right that bitterness is the biggest struggle in situations like this. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). Easier said than done man. But if Joseph can spare the lives of his brothers when they have sought to kill him and forget him, and he even has the power to ruin them, then we surely are called to display grace when it’s the most difficult.

      I only wish that my own heart condition weren’t inclined to any bitterness! Would’t that be amazing? Looking forward to the kingdom returning.

      And I think your three requirements for leadership are great:
      1. Integrity
      2. True Spirituality
      3. Job Excellence

  2. Amen Ben! Totally agree! I think this idea can be pushed on any job beyond ministry too. Especially with all of the political controversy in Ohio, I hear teachers and other people in different professions complain and campaign for their “rights” and what THEY want. I feel this growing ideal of entitlement all around me. It’s definitely a human tendency to be entitled to things; we all do it and all struggle with it on some level. But I think that’s why we need to adopt a Jesus attitude. Life is not about how much we can get for ourselves but how we can be Jesus to as many people as possible.

    • For sure Megs! It’s a natural human response to act that way. It is definitely tougher to take the “higher road” so to speak, and not maneuver around behind closed doors to try and secure higher ground. This is just yet another area where sadly the church sometimes looks no different than the culture around it. But God is just and works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose! I say, “hey man! It’s better to flip burgers for Jesus than to sell the gospel short!”

  3. Working in the secular sector, I see this a lot. Although it is probably more expecting and less pondering than when it is done in the church institution. However, there are people that profess Jesus, but are worried about retirement, next year, next whatever. (I confess, I was a bit like this at first too.)
    However, I met a guy at church that has been working hard, scrounging to get hours as a carpenter. He is basically without a job. However, he will always say that God provided for him. His testimony is that through all this, he has never missed a meal, never slept in his car (his car is still running, btw.)
    It seems trivial when Christians -wherever we work- worry about crap like a savings account or a house payment. I think I just went off topic a bit, but I guess that’s why it is a blog.

    • I appreciate the rant man. It’s why I rant as well! I tend to figure things out when I hear myself say them or write them. Good being in the struggle of life with you brother 😀

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