It’s amazing the sort of reactions I get when I tell people I work for the Church. “Oh!” some exclaim, with an excitement that could rival winning a free holiday. “Oh . . .” others groan. You’d think I had just run over my neighbour’s dog.
We are called to serve and sacrifice, not commit suicide.
So what’s Church employment really like? There’s no definitive answer to that question. But I will share some of the things I’ve learnt and observed during my few years working with Adventist Record.
1) I like my job
I’ll admit staring at a computer screen for most of the day can be a bit dull. This isn’t the dream job of my childhood but I can honestly say it’s rewarding knowing that the work I do has the potential to impact lives and introduce people to Jesus. Yes, sometimes I wish I could observe this happening firsthand. But then I remember it’s God who’s in control—it’s not about me or what I can see. I’m simply happy to be a thread in His tapestry.
2) Good work, good people
No BS (bad stuff) here; it’s true. Knowing that I work with a group of people committed to sharing Jesus is really special. That’s not to say we don’t have our issues or disagreements. The Church, after all, is made up of imperfect people. And perhaps we’re better off that way. “My grace is sufficient for you,” says the Lord, “for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we are weak, He is strong.
3) Practice, practice, practice . . .
I’m glad my days of working in a factory are over (touch wood). No longer do I have to put up with hot oven fumes and hourly “F-bombs”. Yet there is one thing that I miss: my faith being challenged.
“Why do you believe in Jesus?” “If God is real, why is there so much evil in the world?” “What happens when you die?”
Faith is like a muscle; it needs to be worked to stay healthy. My current job—and lifestyle—often leave me feeling out of shape. Thus, if you’re working for the Church, make sure you also plug into a community where your faith can be exercised and tested.
4) Look after yourself
Working for the Church can become an unhealthy obsession. There’s a very real danger of giving too much of yourself. We are called to serve and sacrifice, not commit suicide. Even Jesus took time-outs from the throngs of people. He knew that in order to love and serve people properly, He had to look after Himself. Church work shouldn’t come at the expense of your health—both physical and mental—or your relationships.
5) Make personal devotion a priority
Nor should your spiritual walk suffer. Service to the Church is no substitute for your personal relationship with God. That one-on-one time with Him—whether it’s reading, walking, singing or praying—is so important. “Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8).
My role here at Adventist Record is but an infinitesimal part of the much bigger picture of Church work. Yet a lot can be seen through a small crack in a wall, and I’d like to think one or two of you can learn something from my experience thus far.
Linden Chuang is assistant editor of Adventist Record—digital.