One of the first pastors I worked with, one who took more arrows for me than I knew at the time (not the fiery kind Satan uses but the ones church people are as skilled at aiming as Robin Hood), always used to say that we should be working ourselves out of our jobs. That ministry belongs not just to pastors but to everyone who follows Jesus.

So-called ministers should not be the only ones ministering: visiting people in the hospital, or teaching, or leading Bible studies or small groups, or baptizing new believers. In this sense, we are all priests, who have access to God and can mediate on behalf of others through Jesus.

And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. —1 Peter 2:5 NLT

I didn’t do much to work myself out of my job at that church, though I did leave anyway. At my next post you could say I did.

Sporting Better Fashion Than John the Baptist

A young lady happened along with a treasure trove of talent. I met her as a senior when she started attending our high school gatherings, where she almost immediately started leading the music. I began working with her over the summer, as she sort of interned with us. Her future somewhat undetermined, she spent time at a community college and then a nearby university. But at every opportunity, I invested time into showing her the ins and outs of worship ministry.

I’d wished I’d had someone to show me the ropes back then, someone I could apprentice under. For the most part, though, contemporary worship leaders were not paid staff around the turn of this century. (Wow, that makes me sound old to write it that way.) There weren’t a lot of people doing it who had much experience then. I guess I’m a bit of a forerunner, like John the Baptist but with hipper clothes, which I need since I don’t serve in the wilderness but onstage in full view of churchy archers, who prefer things the way they’ve always been.

Introducing …

Well, I have another prospect, Darah, who also is extremely talented musically and has an admirable gentleness about her, a humility I didn’t possess at her age—and may still not.

What’s more, Darah has two younger brothers (to go along with three other younger siblings) who are also musically gifted. I’ve already had them serving with the adult band even before they’ve reached high school.

So, this summer I’ll be working with Darah. I don’t know what this apprenticeship will lead to for her, but wherever she goes—or if she stays—it is my intention for her to be equipped for ministry. And that’s the real job of a pastor. To shepherd and to equip.

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. —Ephesians 4:12 NLT

At the very least, she could bring me coffee and pick up my dry cleaning.

4 thoughts on “Working Myself Out of a Job

  1. Definitely the sign of a good leader is having someone who can take your place!! Blessings as you embark on another mentoring adventure, as that’s what they always turn out like…an adventure!


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