We started a discussion here about how we talk about the professions and ‘full time vocational ministry’. It seems that a great deal of the motivation behind the push for people to go into full time vocational ministry is that we are living in the last days. This is the age of proclamation, so that ought to be our priority.
My question is one of strategy. Because my observation of full time vocational ministry is that it’s a heck of a lot of talking to Christians and not much evangelism. Lots of it is not even preparing others to do evangelism! It’s part administration, part fixing up people’s doctrine, and a lot of pastoral care. Those are all good things, but if they involve gospel proclamation, often it’s to people who are already Christians. You can feel kind of urgent and last days-y about it, without it being a very effective strategy!
I’m not sure the case is that we need more people in full time vocational ministry. My suspicion is that those of us who are already there ought to better equip Average Joanne to be a better witness in her workplace, since there are likely to be stacks more unbelievers there than in a church!
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.