Most jobs are based on results, and by most I mean 99.98%.
I know there's different levels to that statement. How long you've been doing your job, how much experience you had before, etc. Employers can't really expect an entry-level employee with limited experience to do everything perfectly and yield the ideal results.
However, I feel like no matter what the level of expectation is at a place of work, most people still use results as their primary motivation in employment.
Even the not-so-stellar employee knows what the bare minimum is to keep his job, and the overachiever gets up in the morning ready to conquer the world of retail, life insurance, law, physical health, or whatever it is they do.
You'll get a bonus on your paycheck for every ten people you get to sign up for a credit card.
You get a commission for selling life-insurance.
You get recognition and lots of money if you're a good lawyer.
Results are obviously very important to doctors. No one wants to go to a doctor who's not very good at making people well.
And the list goes on....
Why have I been thinking about things like this?
Because I've discovered that full-time ministry falls into that .02% that isn't primarily based on results.
Yes, I have to fill out a very thorough time-card every week, I have to meet certain criteria that have been laid out in my job description, I report to my supervisor weekly to talk about what I've been doing, and getting a raise is based on how "good" I am at what I do.
However, producing results cannot be the reason I show up to the office every day. It just can't.
Do I desire to see people come to know Jesus? Yes. Do I desire to see people be freed from emotional junk? You betcha. Would I love to see more students living for something else besides what medical school they're going to get into and what fraternity or sorority they're a part of and finding the perfect spouse? That's friggin' why I'm here.
But unlike the majority of jobs, the "results" my work yields are not as much up to me as I'd like them to be.
For a recovering performance-based Christian, this is a hard line to tow.
If I woke up in the morning and placed my desire to reach out to college-students in the fact that I'm good at it, my ministry life-span would be horrifically short.
Rather, I have to wake up and ask God to use me. Honestly, I'm about as good at changing others lives as ... well ... I was at attempting to change my own. Not very.
Even that phrase, "I change others lives," sounds so foreign. Who am I to assume I should or can change others?
How much more of a relief is it to raise my hands, my mouth, my mind to God on a daily basis and shrug my shoulders and say, "Here's what I am and what You've given me, use it as You will."
Not that I actually do that every day, mind you. Hence this blog. It is extremely tempting to pursue those daydreams of my own glory & fame above Jesus'.
Usually that leads to me sitting across from a very confused and frustrated girl as I pontificate about life & what I would do if I were her... blah blah blah blah; instead of asking the Spirit to say what He needs to say to this person at that point in time.
Only God knows what our hearts so desperately need to hear. I can assure you that it is rarely the spiritual prowess of Christina Kroeger that people need to fix their brokenness. (And by rarely I mean... never.)
Maybe my experience in part-time employment left me with a skewed view of what drives people to work. As I was writing this I realized some people do genuinely do view their job as more than the results they produce.
I guess God's just showing me that it's a whole different ballgame when your job consists of constantly doing things for another's glory instead of your own.
Isn't it funny how Christians are called to do exactly that with their lives, but the idea of doing that in your job seems counter-intuitive in this culture.
But that's probably why He called me to do what I'm doing, because I would turn into a wreck of selfish ambition & vain conceit if I wasn't doing something that forced me to bow myself before Him daily.
Which is why, sometimes, when people (including myself) put full-time ministers on pedestals or even have "Christian celebrities" we look up to, I wonder if God gets an ironic chuckle out of it.
Secretly knowing the reason most of us are here is because He needed to keep us on a shorter leash.