HOW ARE YOU WIRED?
A big part of my job is chatting with people about career diversion.
I’ll chat to a 25 year old engineer and say, “Your Pastor and your peers speak highly of you as a Christian leader; have you ever thought of retraining and becoming a full time gospel worker?” What happens next is hilarious. The young bloke goes silent, opens his mouth to answer, decides not to, and eventually says, “Mmmm not really.”
I can almost see the thought bubbles above his head – small bubble, small bubble, large bubble, and then a large bubble with a Youtube clip featuring the following person:
- A tired middle age man (sometimes in a dog collar)
- In a bleak suburban church building
- Putting out bushfires (the urgent overtaking the important)
- Ministering to people who are older, resistant to change and not very evangelistic.
At MTS we’ve worked hard to burst this bubble by coming up with a list of 101 gospel jobs. We want godly Christian men and women to:
1.Work out “how they’re wired” by God
2.Work out where they might “plug in” to grow God’s kingdom.
How are you wired? How has God gifted you? To help answer the question, MTS has come up with 10 criteria to consider, following the acronym TEAM PLAYER:
T – Team Leader or Team Member: All gospel workers must lead because they must be apt to teach. Teaching is leading. But what kind of leader are you, and where do you naturally fit? Are you content being second in command or do you prefer calling the shots?
E – Emotional Energy: Different people have different energy levels. Some gospel jobs are more people intense, some are more emotionally exhausting than others. Overseas ministry requires a lot of energy per hour compared to writing a book.
A – Ambiguity Tolerance: Some people cannot tolerate ambiguity or uncertainty. Others love it. It is essential you know your ambiguity tolerance.
M – Maintainer or Pioneer: Do you salivate at the idea of growing something from scratch (pioneer) or would you rather grow in something that already exists?
P – Platform or Personal: Do you prefer public ministry, e.g. MC’ing, preaching, presentations – or are you more suited to personal ministries, e.g. one-to-one ministry, counseling etc?
L – Languages and Cross-Cultural Adaptability: Do you have an aptitude for cross cultural ministry, either crossing cultures in your own country (migrant ministry) or travelling overseas.
A – Administrative Gifting: Are you organized? In Christianity you can be promoted to the equivalent of CEO very quickly. Do you have the ad-ministry gifts to cope?
Y – Years: What demographic do you feel suited to serve? Since my mum finished her nursing training at 21, she has loved working in geriatric care. What demographic do you click with? Toddlers, youth, seniors…
E – Evangelism or Edification: I do not want to draw a false dichotomy here. In fact just about all ministries are a combination of both. Yet different jobs have different levels of contact with those who don’t follow Jesus. E.g. It is rare to find a senior pastor who spends anywhere near one day a week in evangelism, however a scripture teacher in a state high school would spend almost all their time with non-Christians.
R – Roving or Part of the Furniture: Jump in the shoes of an itinerant evangelist for a minute. They travel to a location they’ve never been before, walk into a room full of strangers, strike up conversations over dinner, attempt to build rapport quickly, get up and speak boldly about the gospel, answer questions and walk away, never to return. Does that appeal to you? Some love the work of itinerant gospelling; others find it unsettling and energy sapping. Neither is more valuable than the other. Where do you sit?
Why don’t you go through TEAM PLAYER with your Pastor and your Peers and
See what they have to say about how you’re wired
Go to chapter 5 of All for the Kingdom and discuss which Gospel Job might suit you.
This short process will be encouraging and may change what you think next time you’re asked “Have you ever thought of becoming a full time gospel worker?”