In 2003 we found ourselves out of jobs with no idea which direction God wanted us to go. As we prayed we began to feel more and more pulled into “ministry,” or at least what we thought was ministry. So we did what anyone else would do in that situation – we created a website and wrote a support letter, and Benham Brothers Ministries was started.
But it never got off the ground. Before we could send the first support letter we felt inclined by God to work for ourselves and not rely on donations from others. Since we both had our real estate licences we joined a local real estate company and started selling houses. We also did odd jobs to pay the bills that first year–that was a rough season of our lives.
By God’s grace that little business grew, and grew, and grew to a point where we had 100 offices in 35 states. All-the-while we felt guilty that we had chosen business over ministry. We thought our role had morphed from ministers to businessmen and that our job was to now support the professionals who ministered every day.
But then one day as I (Jason) was standing with my Bible open in front of a room filled with our franchisees from all over the nation, I heard God whisper to my spirit, “Who told you that you weren’t in ministry?”
As I pondered that question I began to realize that what defines the minister is not where he’s placed or how he’s paid. A minister is defined by passion, not position. When the presence of God is in your life then WHATEVER you do for the glory of the Lord is your ministry.
From that day forward we saw our business as our ministry and recognized our identities as ministers of the gospel. The guilt we once felt was replaced by gratitude as we have continued to open other businesses since.
The devil knows that how you see yourself determines how you conduct yourself. So if he can convince you that you’re just an insurance broker or a school teacher or a plumber or a stay-at-home mom and not a minister then you won’t act like you’re in the ministry. Don’t believe the lie.
Your pastor’s job is to equip you for your work as a minister in the “ministry.” (Ephesians 4:12) When you have eyes to see your work like this everything will change.