Money or ministry?

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Things have been a little quiet here at kitchenstool lately. After the holidays and too much traveling and too many cold and flu bugs, we are just emerging from our cave (like the groundhog only a month late) and sniffing out the atmosphere.

The sun is out (thank you, Jesus). I’m teaching again (thank you, Jesus). And I feel like writing again (thank you, Jesus)!

I’ve been teaching through my material on discovering your calling with some women in my church (click here to see the blog series) and some old truths are springing up new for me. Like what it means to think about life and time in a biblical way.

This week as I prepared to teach about spiritual gifts, I realized something key: I have become more concerned with money than ministry. (There. I said it.) I’m in a stage of life with preschoolers in the house again, so I am not “gainfully employed” on a regular basis. So that means money can be a little tight sometimes. Because of that, I can fall into the trap of thinking that any extra time I spend on something, that “something” ought to make money.

For example, this blog. I go back and forth on how I think about kitchenstool. Years ago I started it with a good motive, a biblical one, I think. I write mainly about discipleship and to encourage others in their faith and the gospel. So originally, this blog gave me a way to exercise my gifts (teaching, wisdom, etc.) to build up the body around me. I re-entered the stage of life where I need to be home a lot, meaning I have limited time to meet face-to-face with people or teach regularly. The blog became a way to exercise my gifts as I was able and share them online. And hopefully as people read, they would be encouraged and edified. Simple.

Well, then things got complicated. If you’ve participated in the world of writing or blogging, you might know that it’s a little complicated out here. Everyone wants to write a book. Or promote a book. Be published. Be famous. Have a popular blog or thousands of followers on Instagram. (And I’m positive this is not limited to the writing world.) So, subtly, my blog became a way to be “known” and to have people “like” what I write. My blog slowly shifted to becoming more about me than about the body of Christ. It became more about the possibility of making money rather than ministering to others. Blah.

So money has become a focus for me, a motivator. But it has squelched my creativity and even my desire to minister to others.

But what if…

…rather than thinking primarily about how I could make some extra money, I started thinking about how I could participate in the body of Christ?

… I began to focus on how I could use my unique spiritual gifts to build up the people around me?

… I started thinking about living out my calling (whether or not it makes any money) and trust God to provide for us financially?

… my focus was on ministry rather than money?

… my focus was on you rather than me??

I think it would change things. It already has. I’m writing today simply for the desire to encourage you and challenge you to think along with me. I hope you are :).

What motivates you? Does money get in the way of ministry for you?

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