When I left my job in full-time ministry, I thought my pastoring days were behind me. I was trading coffee shop counseling sessions for board room strategy sessions, Oswald Chambers for the Wall Street Journal, pulpits for P&L’s. Who needs a pastor in key leadership of a money-making enterprise? It was time to let go of the identity I had fostered for 12 years of vocational service to the church. It just wasn’t needed anymore.
Boy was I wrong.
I don’t preach on Sundays (unless I’m filling in for a friend) and my paycheck no longer comes from a church, but other than that not much has changed about who I am and what I do every day.
David Lindsey, owner and CEO of Defenders here in Indy, likes to say “businesses don’t grow, people do.” As people get healthy, as they embrace their identity, learn to communicate honestly, face their fears, connect to one another, and mobilize around a vision greater than themselves, the trajectory of the business tends to get healthier, too. If this is true, I think more businesses could use a pastor (or twelve).
Some of you have the gifts of a pastor but find yourself in the business world. Don’t wait for a church gig, you’re needed where you are.
Don’t get frustrated by budgets and sales calls, maintenance requests, customer complaints, that overbearing supervisor, or the stress of another major deadline. (Honestly, that stuff is just part of life). Look at the people. Serve the people. They desperately need what you can add to their lives and to the culture of the organization. Breathe life. Bring hope.
Your gifts as a pastor aren’t locked up in your job description or in the “sanctity” of your company’s business model. Your business needs you be the pastor that you are, right where you are, right now (not when your church staff finally has an opening).
Will you do it?
NOTE: When I say pastor, I don’t mean condescending proselytizer, I mean lover of people. Leave room for the Gospel to do its work.