"Leaving" the Ministry?
Brett and I have served in "paid, professional ministry" for all of our adult lives. (Well, he has for all of his. I, myself, have worked in the church for the majority of my adult life.) I fully support the concept of paid church/ministry staff. In our world today, paid ministry staff is an important part of the Church, and I don't see any biblical reason that a church shouldn't have paid staff.
However, I don't buy in to the idea that being a paid leader in a church or ministry somehow makes a person more spiritual. I am in not better standing with God than my brothers and sisters at The Grove because I happen to receive a paycheck for what I do there.
As we are making a career change from paid ministry to self-employment, we've had a few people wonder aloud, "Why are you leaving the ministry?" Even though we will no longer be paid for our work at a church, our family will always be involved in ministry. Ministry is the call of every Christian, and we intend to continue to pursue a lifestyle of ministry.
I am looking forward to exploring options in our new neighborhood and community. Will we share Christ with our neighbors? Will we welcome international students into our home? Will I have the opportunity to be a Titus 2 woman in someone's life? Will we serve the poor? All of these things interest me, and I am eager to see what opportunities God presents to us in our new home.
As we continue to abide in the Lord, ministry will be an integral part of our lives. It'll be cool to see how that plays out.