The Difference Between Ministry and IndustryJuly 21, 2016
Ministry and industry may have a similar-sounding cadence but they are two very different words from two very different worlds. Ministry is the humbling of self for the service of others, while industry is the exaltation of self at the expense of others. Sadly, we are now setting up tables of industry where the basins of water used to occupy the servant’s quarters. We have traded the towels of humility for the banners of self-exaltation. This is to the detriment of the body of Christ. The church was designed for the glory of one Star, but in the vast darkness of this generation we are seeing more and more flickers from varying places than ever before.
The Commerce of Christianity
Industry. The word itself implies the notion of self-promotion. It insinuates the need for product, branding, marketing, lighting, staging, and worse still…commerce.
Was this not the culprit of Christ’s anger in the temple? He came into His Father’s house looking for prayers, but instead He found peddlers. They had turned His holy place into a cheap store-front business where men purchased their religious gadgetry. There was no glory, no honor, no sacred thought of things divine…just commerce, just industry.
Yes, business is booming these days. From the prima donnas to the street peddlers, Christianity is being sold to millions. It’s not the product that makes twenty-first century Christianity so cheap, it’s the performers and vendors. It’s the basic concept of supply and demand. With so many competitors in the marketplace, the prices are being driven down. Instead of carrying a cross we are occupying a stage. We have dismantled the timbers of that sacred wood and built a platform for our own glory. Soon, and very soon, the Christ of Heaven will come and turn over the tables of industry and ask us where have all the basins gone?
Industry or Ministry? Which one are you in?
Those in industry desire to be known and seen, while those in ministry want to fade into the shadows of God’s presence. Those in industry find fulfillment and approval in the applause of others while those in ministry seek approval only from the God of glory. Those in industry are motivated by a career while those in ministry are moved by a calling. Those in industry seek compensation from an earthly treasury, while those in ministry realize their reward is being laid up in the Celestial City. Those in industry work tirelessly to increase, while those in ministry bow with that eccentric baptizer and say, “I must decrease.”
May God deliver us from the high-performance pressure of the industry. It is time that we go back into the dark storage rooms of our churches where we have tucked away the towels. The hour is calling for us to stop bowing on the stage and start bowing at the feet of our brethren for the sake of the ministry. The time is too late for a curtsy and a curtain call. Shine your lights to men in such a way that they are blinded from ever seeing you. Set those overturned tables back on their right side, rid your life of the cheap, religious sale and dive into the basin once again.