I have always believed that you should invest outside of your own personal ministry, even when I was a pastor, or for that matter all the way back when I was a youth pastor in the dark ages. I am talking much more than finances. Yes, we send monthly support to several other missionaries, LFTL, and to special projects in the North Texas District and the West Texas District among others that we send support on an irregular basis. But money is not all there is that should be given. As a pastor my passions outside of the ministry to and for the local church was motorcycles (obviously), prisons and jail ministry, men’s ministries, and church planting and revitalization on the district level. Now that we are US Missionaries, the biker work and prison work is our primary ministry, but I still invest time and energy as much as I can in men’s ministries and church planting and revitalization. We have made ourselves available to be used by the district’s leadership in whatever area they need. For that matter, we still do all we can to help our previous district and anywhere else we have been requested to help out.
Why? I first and foremost believe that every believer has a ministry. As a pastor that involved asking people who had full time jobs to do ministry inside the church or other ministries that were outside their day to day employment. The blessing was always seeing how God richly rewarded these for going that extra mile. While I could just go the extra mile within my own ministry as a pastor, which was especially true when I had to work to support myself, as a full-time pastor I felt I needed to set the example by doing ministry and community service outside my pastoral full time job. I needed to invest into people that would never add one person or one dime to our local church, but would indeed add to the kingdom of God. Oddly enough, reaching out past what profits my own ministry always seems to add to our own ministry. And it is even more important now. I am at a place where money is not a driving force, but kingdom results are. My investment into other ministries is just a little bit more of kingdom obedience. It really does not even seem like sacrifice like it did when I was a young man.So how about you? Are you investing time and energy outside of your full time ministry to strengthen some one else’s ministry? The principle of giving and receiving goes much farther than just giving money.