Dear Crass: Churches won’t hire me
I am very passionate about ministry and evangelism, so I naturally I pursued degrees in theology as a young man. I currently have two theology degrees, but no church will hire me! In fact, I have to work in a “fast casual” restaurant in order to make a living. Was I wrong to assume that churches would want staff members who are well versed in the Bible? Was I wrong to think the church would be logical?
An Overly Educated Fool
To begin with, I think you made the right call in pursuing a degree in theology – it’s always good to seek out what God has for us and educate yourself in all manners of spiritual whatevernesses you can get your hands on.
Believe me when I tell you that you didn’t make a mistake in pursuing these matters, but you left me with a few questions as to your situation that may change how I would answer your letter.
For starters, what kind of pie is served at the restaurant where you work? Do they sell it by the slice, or is there a discount for buying the whole pie? This is vital information you left out, and now I’m just sitting here, craving some lemon meringue.
As it is, I’ll tell you what I can. The church is not illogical, I believe they really want someone who knows the Bible well, but let’s be honest, you’re in America and Americans want a show.
So, perhaps the way you share your wealth of knowledge needs some… tweaking. Not to be confused with “twerking” but, hey, if that’s what gets the crowds jumping, then let’s try it, amen?
When you were last able to preach a sermon, how many times did you get shot out of a canon and how many live animals did you actually sacrifice while on stage? If the answer is 0 to both of these, then it may be time to take a long hard look at your delivery. Or, even ask yourself if you were ever called to ministry at all.
I’m a big believer in where God has put you, you should grow there. The NIV (sigh, yes, I use it sometimes) translation of Acts 8:4 says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” Have you tried sharing the Gospel with your customers? With your co-workers? I’m assuming not as you’re still working there and they haven’t fired you.
Grow where you’re planted, I always say.
Well, I say that when it sounds like the intelligent response. God will provide a ministry soon enough, and if He doesn’t, it’s probably because you’re an awful preacher and shouldn’t stand behind a pulpit.
You’d probably be better suited for the nursery ministry, or visiting shut-ins, because both of those audiences won’t be able to toss you out of the room for such poor preaching nearly as easily as a mob of angry parishioners.