Being a Pastor can Cost You Your Ministry

Last week, our Executive Pastor announced that he has accepted a job that will return him to the aerospace engineering plant here in Fort Worth where he worked prior to coming on our staff. It's an amazing thing for him, and will prove to be an amazing thing for our church as he goes back to doing what he was doing before he became the Executive Pastor here.

After his announcement, I heard a person ask him why he was "leaving the ministry," which is what it would appear he is doing at first glance. In reality, he's returning to the ministry.

Before Graham became the Executive Pastor at McKinney, he was about as high-caliber a lay leader as you could ever hope for. Several of the men on our current leadership team are mature believers today because Graham led them to Christ and discipled them to maturity. He had a ministry that influenced hundreds in the corporate world, and felt like that capacity for ministry would only be expanded if he went on staff at at church.

In reality, what I think Graham realized is that vocational ministry comes at a cost. Corporate leaders may respect you, but they look at you differently. They don't understand your world, and don't really believe you can understand theirs. You don't have the same platform you used to have, and can't lead the same way.

I think we do a disservice sometimes to people in the corporate world who have great ministry by encouraging them to do it vocationally. Sometimes their capacity and gifting for ministry is best served in the corporate world. I also think we can do a disservice to the corporate world by taking great lights to the world and hiding them in our church bushels.

The fact that someone has great ministry doesn't mean they need to be a pastor. Sometimes it does, but not always. Being a pastor can cost you your ministry, if God has uniquely equipped you to serve where you are.