Nineish years ago, I struggled with the same question as I contemplated leaving my career for radical Jesus obedience. How would I provide for my family? Should I offer to work part time for the record label and part time for God? (I did offer to do this. Thankfully, though, my boss declined, knowing full well my half-hearted energy would be money poorly spent.) What about Paul making tents? Should I find tents to make? And, if so, could part-time work pay the bills? If I were to fix my full-time attention on “Kingdom work,” would God provide for me, or was I another idealistic dreamer headed toward disaster?
If you're asking any of these same questions, know that I'm writing for you. Entering into full-time service to Jesus might be the best decision you ever make. Or, conversely, it could be the worst.
Here are three questions that I asked myself before abandoning safety for full-time, faith-filled vocation.
1. To what and where am I being called?
Is God asking you to work a part-time job and then fill in the gaps with ministry when you can? Is He inviting you into some kind of creative opportunity for provision and ministry? Is He calling you into full-time service in America, overseas, or both?
It’s key to have some clear direction from God amidst the vast number of possible options available, before moving forward.
2. Is the potential transition from part time to full time an organic, natural move that anyone else is confirming?
Jesus does not need anyone, regardless of how gifted/anointed/talented they might think they are. He is rather inviting lovers to lay down their lives when and where He asks.
If no one else is confirming your potential move, you should ask the Lord to affirm through others what you believe He has placed in your heart. This doesn’t mean EVERYONE has to support your move... but are trusted friends, family, your pastor, etc. behind this full-time desire?
3. Are you willing to fundraise?
For the first 18 months of full-time work with Come&Live!, I avoided fundraising like the dirty plague I thought it was. I did a couple of side, hustle jobs (installing hardwood floors for a musician friend - a position for which I found myself mostly working on my knees, and that I regretted taking from day one). At another low point, I asked a music industry pal if he'd consider bringing me on in a part-time role. I also prayed and fasted often, and God did display several miraculous acts of provision during that time, though my family mostly lived in financial chaos.
But it wasn't until I set my hands to fundraising - not as extra-curricular work, but as part of my regular, ongoing ministry life - that I began to experience consistent, sustainable, generous financial miracles. They came in the form of one friend after the next contributing as the Lord led them, usually after I deliberately and specifically asked them to pray about financially supporting us.*
Jesus, I pray you would bring definite, consistent, even supernatural confirmation for my reader who is wondering whether the moment for full time has come.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
What questions are you asking, as you consider moving from part-time to full-time service?
*Note: The God Ask
by Steve Shadrach is currently the best book available on the topic of personal fundraising.