Editor’s Note: Joel Renner is the CEO of RENNER Ministries. Alongside his father, Joel has actively participated for many years in nearly every facet of the daily operations of the ministry. Joel resides in Moscow, Russia, with his wife and two sons.
Following the Will of God
Today I’d like to share some practical advice for those who are not in ministry but who are serving God.
Everyone who is in ministry today served God before they started to work in full-time ministry. So the first point I want to make is that serving God is very important. Even if you work for a ministry or you are in full-time ministry, you need to serve God by spending time with Him and doing what He asks with a humble and willing heart. This is something you need to prioritize no matter what your job title is.
The second thing that I would like to say is that there is a misunderstanding that somehow you are not serving God unless you are working in ministry. However, I believe that if you work as unto the Lord, you are serving Him. If you are making money and giving to the Lord, you are serving Him. When there is harmony between businesspeople and full-time ministers, it is amazing what can be done for the Gospel. And as believers, we need to fulfill the Great Commission, which is our goal until the Lord returns.
The apostle Paul said in First Corinthians 12:12-27 (ESV):
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
So a person fulfilling a service in the workforce is not less or more important than a person in ministry whose job is to share the Gospel. We are all needed, and I can’t say that one role is more important than the other. We each need to be led by the Holy Spirit in what to do with our lives. But as Christians there are several things we are called to do, regardless of our occupation. We all need to pray, give to and participate in our local church, read our Bible, and listen to the Holy Spirit. If we as believers will do these few things, we will be successful in serving God and reaching people with the Gospel.