Finding the Right Secondary Job and Making the Most Out of It
When it becomes necessary for those of us who are in full-time ministry to find a secondary source of income, I fear that many of us look at our situation the wrong way. I know some in ministry, however, who have a great attitude about their second job. They look at it as a blessing from the Lord and not a drudgery. Of course, whatever we end up doing should be done to the best of our ability, "as unto the Lord" (Colossians 3:23), but perhaps these men have a very good reason for being so happy about the side job they have taken. Besides just a "trial" that they must suffer through, this may very well be a great opportunity God has brought their way for something coming up that is greater!
Now don't get me wrong. I think it is generally best that a minister, whether it be the pastor or a "second man," is given the opportunity to put all of the time and effort they can into serving in their local church. But the fact is, many of our churches just aren't in a position to pay the ministers what they need (Ok, I guess another article could be written on having a budget and learning how to live on less...for both those in ministry and members who feel like they cannot contribute financially to their church, but I digress).
So, if we must find a secondary job, how do we go about choosing which job to take? It is very possible to choose the "wrong" job based on our desperation to pay the bills. Maybe we waited too long to realize our need of a secondary job and now all the bills are due. Or maybe we just fell into an unexpected hardship like a medical emergency, and now we feel the intense pressure to grab any paying job.
I certainly don't think any of us are above doing any sort of honest labor that is out there, and perhaps the Lord indeed wants us cleaning office buildings (speaking from experience here) or whatever it is we end up doing that wouldn't necessarily be our first choice. However, I believe we should be in earnest prayer regarding the leadership of the Lord in providing just the right job that is most beneficial to the ministry to which we are called. If we know that our secondary job is benefiting our ministry, I think we will be able to join my ministry friends in finding our work a great blessing from the Lord.
Recently, with the help of social media, I did a little online survey of my ministry friends who had to work secondary jobs. My first observation was that there are a lot of them out there, which in my opinion makes this topic one to which we should be giving more attention. Secondly, I think I was able to spot a clear difference in those who were grasping at anything because of their need to earn money, and those who were using their side job a little more strategically. I have no intention of trying to sound like an expert in this area, nor do I wish to tell anyone what is best for them, but for my own consideration (and hopefully in order to benefit a reader or two), I came up with three types of jobs I want to recommend for any of us "ministry-minded" folks to take...if we must:
1. Earn money doing more of what you are called to do...ministry!
A couple of the ministers that helped with my survey got me thinking about this one. Some work with funeral homes on last minute funerals and make extra money that way (besides the benefit of being able to help hurting and needy people, this is a great opportunity to witness to the family involved as well as presenting the gospel to all who are at the funeral service). Along the same line, I know preachers who work with hospitals as a part-time chaplain. I also had a youth minister/song leader share how he has a paying position leading the music at another church during their service as it does not interfere with his home church's service. With a little creativity, I think we could find lots of ways to earn a little more money doing extra ministerial jobs...and I don't see one thing wrong with getting paid for those jobs.
2. Earn money building relationships with your community!
Several men mentioned that they were school bus drivers. I know a pastor who delivers mail. Some work other jobs that allow them to meet and have conversations with many people in their community. It goes without saying that this is a great opportunity for future evangelism and probably presents a greater chance of getting these people to visit your church. I believe this is another great consideration when looking for the right side job!
3. Earn money doing what you enjoy doing!
This one is a little more secular, but here is my thinking on it: First of all, we all have some type of hobby that is our "escape." Our "release." Or our "rest," if you will. There is nothing wrong with that, and in fact, as long as they are healthy, honorable hobbies, they can help refresh and reenergize us to be able to come back to our work with more passion and fervor. So, why not make a little money doing whatever that hobby is that we love to do? It has also been said that if you get paid doing what you love to do, it isn't "work." You will happily work harder and longer at something that you enjoy doing, and you will probably be pretty good at it.
I'm going to be making a list of all the things I enjoy doing, considering which, if any, are a benefit to the ministry to which I have been called, and which will help build relationships with my community. Most importantly, I will be praying for the Lord's leadership (which could very well cancel out everything in this article!) on this matter. Whereas I have been blessed with the opportunity to be full-time as a "second man," I think it is wise to be on the lookout for just the right side job.
Thank you for reading. I hope this helps someone. Lord bless you, and may your passion for ministry grow as you "addict yourself" to it (1 Corinthians 16:15).
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