101 Gospel jobs
One of my key roles as MTS Director is to encourage people to think about their life path and consider becoming a "fisher of people' (Mark 1:17). Over the course of the last two years I have come to realise that your average Christian has a very limited understanding of the different Gospel Ministry jobs that exist. So I did some "market research" between January and June 2008. In any Christian gathering (where it was appropriate), I asked men and women this question:
"I want you to picture in your mind's eye a Gospel worker, someone who is dedicated to prayerfully passing on the message of Christ to people. Picture this Gospel worker/minister in your head. Have you got a person in mind?
[People answer, "Yes."]
“Okay, tell me who they are."
All but a handful mentioned the senior minister at their local suburban church. I would have put 10-12 groups of keen Christians through this exercise over a six-month period, equalling about 100 people. I did it in churches, at training days and MTS Challenge conferences. Ninety-five per cent of the keen Christians I surveyed immediately thought of the local, suburban, senior pastor when encouraged to picture in their mind's eye a "Gospel worker."
I thought to myself, "We need to widen people's horizons" we need to communicate the variety and diversity of gospel jobs that exist." So a small group of MTS friends got together with a whiteboard and marker, and brainstormed. Our aim? To create a tool; a list of "101 Gospel Jobs." The result? The document attached. We came up with more than 101 Gospel Jobs in an hour. You'll probably be able to come up with 101 more. I hope you do!
We used this list at our MTS Challenge conferences to encourage people to "think outside the square," to ponder their gifts, their passions, the list and the possibilities. In the workshop where the list was revealed we had really vigorous discussions about the plethora of ways God can use His people to pass on the Gospel and grow people in Christ.
At MTS we want to affirm that ‘gospel ministry’ is different to ‘creation ministry’. Gospel ministry involves ‘preaching the Word (not just from the pulpit) prayerfully to people’. So if we take the example of Job #2 - father - we need to remember that an Ephesians 6:4 father is very different to the father who does not honour Jesus as saviour and Lord. Godly dads do heaps of gospel work!
We hope you find the list encouraging. We hope it broadens the believer’s mind and opens up a whole heap of possibilities. The list is the result of a one-hour whiteboard splat" it isn't perfect but we hope it will spur on Christians everywhere to be great-commissionaries for Jesus! (Matthew 28:16-20) We hope Christians will look at their gifts, identify an area of interest and ponder anew the possibilities open to them to proclaim Christ and live like Him.
Ben Pfahlert is the director of the Ministry Training Strategy, an organisation devoted to training men and women as faithful and competent Bible teachers to serve Christ as pastors, evangelists and church planters.