Do you have an idea, or a passion that you know will be a great blessing to others; but may not result in a big payday? Yet, knowing this, you still want to pursue this passion?
Today’s blog was inspired by a great conversation surrounding last week’s blog. If you remember, we talked about a new TV series Life or Debt? We shared about a Pastor who wanted to follow his heart in ministry. However, his family was suffering financially.
We can relate to feeling that tug in your heart to do what God has called you to do; but also wanting to provide for our family. So we thought we would share with you what we’ve done to make what we do possible.
If you didn’t know, we “SERVE” as Senior Pastors in our church. Key word here is “SERVE”. The role as a Pastor is much more than giving a sermon which requires dedicated study time. We also counsel, disciple, conduct leadership training’s, visits families in emergency situations, and over-see the administration of the church. We are not paid for this, but we know God has called us to do this.
There’s nothing wrong with a Pastor taking a salary for this job. However, in this season, we don’t. And we’ve seen God’s grace over us so that we can still provide for our family.
When God called us to serve in our church, we knew we were going to have to make some adjustments; both in our finances and our activities. Our first responsibility is to Him, each other, our family, and then the ministry. Therefore, we sought God for the wisdom to help us; cut back, cut out, and how to use our time wisely. So that we are able to do all that He has placed inside our hearts.
1. Live within the priorities of God.
Although God has called us to serve in the ministry, our ministry is not our first priority. Whatever you’re passionate about pursing; God will give you the grace to do it, but not at the cost of your first ministry, which is your relationship with Him, your spouse and your family.
If you are unable to pursue your passion full-time or to the point where you can support your family, then it would be wise to have a source of income that can meet your financial needs.
Which means, don’t quit your job while you pursue your passion; that way you can still provide for your family. (Unless, God specifically told you, and He has provided for your family.) Yes, God requires us to use our faith, but He is also a God of order, and expects us to do all things decently and in order.
1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV) says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” So while we are pursuing our passions, God expects us to provide for our families.
Now this is where living within the priorities of God is necessary. You will have to find the time to pursue your dreams, in addition to growing in your relationship with God, without neglecting what matters most. This may sound overwhelming, but when you purpose to live within God’s priorities, pursing your dreams in a balanced manner is possible!
We both work in addition to serving as Pastors, we raise a family, run this blog, and manage to still have time to sow into others. We are only able to do this by not overcommitting to activities that pull us away from our priorities.
2. Purpose to live below your means.
Until we’re able to Pastor full-time, we’ve chosen to live below our means so that we are not living just to pay bills. The jobs we have offer us flexibility and time to pursue what matters most. Although we’ve been asked to take on additional projects for a fee of course, we have become peaceful with saying no.
Would the extra money be nice for our family? Sure, but at what cost? If we spend more time chasing money, then we won’t have time for our family or to sow into the lives of others.
As a family, we chose to live within our budget and do only what God has called us to do. In return, we have seen God bless us for our diligence.
3. When in doubt, seek God.
When you’re raising children, working, and trying to pursue your passion, that process alone can be overwhelming.
However, Matthew 6: 33 (NLT) says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” So when you feel overwhelmed or defeated because the success of what you wanted isn’t happening, we encourage you to seek God.
When we start thinking of ways to make things happen, instead of seeking God, we tend to make the journey a lot longer. Remember, God put the desire in your heart, so when you take the time to ask Him for guidance, He will show you how to pursue your passion without neglecting your family.
Years ago when we experienced financial hardship, we discovered ways to make our income stretch without working additional jobs. Timberley learned to coupon to save on groceries. In fact, some weeks it was the only way we could purchase groceries. (One day she will share our story in detail and what she learned.)
What that taught us, was that we can live on less income, so that we have the time to all that God has called us to. In addition, we currently use coupons to stock our benevolence pantry at church with minimal cost. As a result, we are able to help multiple families each month.
Just think, if we hadn’t sought God for His guidance and wisdom, we would’ve never thought to use coupons as means to help provide for others in our church.
As Pastors, when we see the lives of our people changed, in their marriage, their family, and we see them use the gifts God has given them; it gives us great joy that no payday can bring. And because God placed that desire in our hearts, we know that He will give us what we need to fulfill our purpose and honor our family.
If there’s an idea, a passion or a desire in your heart that you’re eager to do, we encourage you to seek God, and then pursue it with balance. Remember if God brings you to it, He will get your though it.
~ André and Timberley Gray