My first job was in a church about a decade ago. I was young and inexperienced but still was trusted with this enormous task of leading worship most Sundays.
I fell in love with this line of work and all that came along with it because to me it did not feel like work, just an extension of my passions being poured out daily.
I changed my major in college from pre-med to theatre arts with a minor in religion so that I could add more arts experience to my arsenal of ways to worship God.
Coming close to graduation, I wanted to find another church to work in closer to home, but no one was hiring. Instead, I ended up back at my high school teaching both science and drama, two of things that I had studied in college. When taking this job, I was reminded of a phrase that a co-worker from a church I worked at in college told me. “God doesn’t waste anything.”
I had not wasted my time in college on one major only to switch to something completely different. I was able to use knowledge I had gained from both seasons of my life to complete a job that was in desperate need of being filled.
Now I look back on this year. This is the first year that I have not worked in a church in 10 years. I do believe that I will lead worship again somewhere down the road, but God has not wasted this year.
This year has been full of rest and healing for me.
Working in the ministry in any capacity is difficult, and if you think it is easy, you’re wrong. It’s full of war and conquest, responsibilities that weigh more than Jupiter, and expectations that will haunt your sleep. God is always faithful to help you through these difficulties and temptations, but even in trials He is teaching compassion and humility.
This year I’ve been able to heal from the fear of failing and being crushed by the strangling expectations that working in the church lassoed around my shoulders. I have learned that it is OK to not be perfect, that every last person messes up, that God can use absolutely anyone to advance His kingdom and that you are afforded the choice each and every morning to choose that day whom you will serve.
I am thankful for what God did for me this year by giving me time out of the church. I still attend regularly, and have a wonderful place that I call my church home, but it has been wonderful to know that God does not waste anything and to learn more about ministry in other arenas.
What do you feel like your ministry is? Are there instances where God has not wasted experiences in your life?