Full Time Christian Worker


by Dr. Ken Matto


Many times I have attended Christian banquets and have heard the moderator say something like this, "At this time I would like to recognize all the full time Christian workers in attendance this evening, and I would like them all to stand." As we sit there starving, we will then clap for them. Now this little event, although sincere, makes those not in full time Christian work feel inferior, like they are part-time Christians.


"Full time Christian worker" is really a misnomer of the highest order. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians divided into full and part time. In fact the reality is those who work the proverbial nine to five job have a much harder time at ministry than those who work in a sterile environment (all Christian surrounding). The ones who work a job all day must do their biblical studies after hours, and normally they are tired from work. This is in contrast to those who have the privilege of daytime study.


Every Christian has a full time ministry regardless of their vocation. The one who works in a factory or office can help the spiritual needs of their co-workers, and this is a place the pastor cannot access. During the day a person is ministering to their co-worker; a pastor is ministering to a church member; and a missionary is ministering to a tribal member, which one of these three has the most important ministry? The answer is, ALL THREE.


In fact, the one who ministers at work has a more difficult time because they are in an unofficial capacity, whereas the pastor and missionary come in an official capacity, and are normally accepted in that manner. Not many pastors are rejected by their congregations because they minister to them. The reason is that this is his official calling. Compare this to the many Christians who are rejected or scorned because they witness on break or lunch. The pastor will get a raise for being a good Christian but the one on the job will be held back from promotion or "laid off" (fired) for being a witness on the job.


Those who should stand at banquets are the ones who work every day in a hostile environment. Every Christian is a full time Christian, and God makes no distinction between those who work in a sterile or a hostile environment. Yes, dear sister or brother, if you are a Christian, then you are full time, no matter how man categorizes you.


Previously I penned an article entitled "Is There a Caste System in Christianity?"  The answer is there absolutely is, not that it is found in the Bible but it was created by the churches and the clergy who feel that the pastor and other leaders were above the congregation.  This gulf widened with the advent of radio and television when some ministers took their ministries to the airwaves and began to preach the gospel to untold millions both at home and abroad through such ministries like Trans World Radio or HCJB.  While preaching the gospel through media ministries is great it also spawned the imaginary great gulf between the broadcasters and the listeners.  For some reason many Christians believe that if a person is on the radio or TV that they somehow have great wisdom and authority and that they should own the title of "Christian leader."  Nothing could be farther from the truth because if you listen to media ministries today, you will hear the sad fact that the great majority, if not all of them, are compromised.  Using a Roman Catholic based modern version is a compromise so when one uses the NIV or ESV, they have compromised and are building their foundation on sand and if they have compromised the Bible, then that opens the door for them to compromise further into outright apostasy.  The full-time Christian worker vs. part time Christian worker paradigm widens the Caste System in Christianity.


When God saved us he gave us eternal life and that eternal live begins at the moment of salvation.  So from the beginning of our Christian walk we are full time Christians.  There is no such thing as a part time Christian. 


{1} After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;  {2} And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.  {3} And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.  (Acts 18:1-3)


When we look at Acts 18:1-3, we saw that the Apostle Paul came to Corinth and met Priscilla and Aquila and in verse 3 we read that he abode with them "and wrought" which means he labored with them and helped them in the same craft that he was familiar with.  When the Apostle Paul did this, was he only being a part time Christian?  The answer is no because he was still the blood-bought Apostle Paul.  If someone works in a ministry does that make them a full time Christian worker?  If someone works in a secular company, does that make them a part time Christian worker?  As I mentioned above, the Christian who works in a ministry or church has a much easier time because they are working in a sterile environment.  The Christian in a secular job has a much harder time because they are working in a cesspool of sin and surrounded by sinners.


There are many examples in Scripture of people who held secular positions and yet maintained their testimony as a child of God.  Some are below:


1. Joseph was Governor of Egypt.

2. David was King in Israel and was a man after God's own heart.

3. Cornelius was a Centurion in the Roman Army and worshipped God.

4. Nehemiah was cup bearer to the king and then promoted to Governor of Judah.


These four examples from Scripture shows that a redeemed person can hold a secular job and still be a witness for the Lord.  Now it is true that the Lord has chosen many Christians to work in ministries or churches to send forth the gospel and maintain ministry so they would always be ready when a new area opens up.  This does not mean that these Christians are in a better spiritual condition than those who are in a secular job nor are they loved more by the Lord or endowed with super spiritual gifts.  Every Christian has been given a spiritual gift or even two and can employ those gifts in their secular jobs as well as those who can employ theirs in ministry work.  One of the great dangers of being full time in a ministry is complacency because they are continually surrounded by Christianity but the Christian in a secular setting is surrounded by Satan's people and their worldly views thus causing the Christian in that environment to become much more astute in their biblical understanding to be able to counter false teachings when they are made known and thus sharpen their spiritual skills.


So don't ever fall for the man-made paradigm that there are both full time and part time Christians especially in the work arena.  If you work a secular job, that job just became your mission field.  So the next time you hear someone speak about full time and part time, ask them where they find that in the Bible.  They will be unable to find any such pattern.  The truth is that God plants some out in the secular workplace and some in the ministry workplace and neither group is any less or more gifted or loved by the Lord.  In other words, every Christian is strategically placed by the Lord for his purposes.  Wherever the Lord has placed you just work to his glory and his purpose and don't classify yourself as either full time or part time ministry worker because even secular jobs are made spiritual jobs when the Lord's people are in it.