Being a seminarian, I am often asked the question, "What kind of ministry do you feel called into?" I've heard this question asked countless times and heard every possible answer there is: from lead pastoring to working with youth to parachurch ministry to advocacy to "I have no idea." But the one I offer is one that has not been heard at my seminary before, and so I often get some interesting looks when I say that I feel called into media ministry.
Let me be clear: I have received an overwhelming amount of support from my friends, family, peers, and professors when it comes to pursuing my calling, and I am so very thankful for that. But I know there are those who may still be a little skeptical, and I can understand that as well. Some question whether or not working with computers can really be understood as ministry. Many recognize that it is a type of ministry that churches need, but they think of it more as a volunteer position than as a pastoral job. And there are others who may be on board with media ministry as a vocation but question why someone who wants to work with media would go to seminary.
Now these concerns are legitimate and should be addressed. I can't tackle them all in one blog post, but I wanted to set up this backdrop so that you understand where I'm coming from when I say what I'm about to say. I want to get at the absolute heart of this issue of why I feel called to the ministry I do and why I'm working hard to be the absolute best I can be at it. My main point, and the center of my calling, is this:
I am pursuing a career in media ministry because using my media talents for God is the greatest form of worship I am capable of.
That's right. For me, working with media is a form of worship. And it's not just that. It's the best form of worship I have ever participated in. I feel most connected to God when I'm behind a computer using my skills to glorify him. And I can't think of any better thing to dedicate my career to.
To someone who doesn't worship in this way, it may seem odd for me to consider working with media a form of worship. But I think my media work can be considered worship on a few different levels.
First of all, working with media can be understood as worship on a wholistic level. For Christians, everything we do should be considered a form of worship. When we go about our days—going to work, talking with friends, taking care of ourselves, even taking our times of leisure—we should see everything we do as a way of giving glory to God. We worship him by living with him as a reality in our lives and being his people in the world. Obviously if worship encompasses everything I do, working with media would be included in that.
But just because everything we do is worship, that doesn't mean everything we do is something that is considered church work. That's the second sense in which my media work can be considered worship. At my church, we have a saying: "Work is worship." We depend on teams of volunteers to make everything happen on Sunday mornings, from greeting to cleaning coffee mugs to reading in service to—yes—even serving on the media team. Anything and everything done for God, his house, and his people, is considered worship in that it supports and furthers the ministry of the church. Media ministry certainly falls under this category.
But there is even yet a deeper sense in which media ministry can be considered worship, and this is the one that is most meaningful to me. Whenever I work with media in a church setting, I feel personally connected with God and his people. I can't exactly explain it, but I have never felt closer to God than I do when I am tucked away in an A/V booth running slides for a worship service. Not only am I praising God through song; I am creating a space in which others can worship with God and connect with him as well. And there is just something about that that makes me feel alive and connected with God in a way that nothing else offers me.
The truth is that media ministry is the highest form of worship I know. Maybe that doesn't make a lot of sense to people, and that's OK. Everyone worships God in his or her own way; that's how he created us. But when he created me, he created me to worship him in this way. And I think that's a pretty compelling reason to dedicate my life to it. I truly believe that God has called me into media ministry, and I am going to pursue that with my whole heart, worshipping God through my media work every step of the way.
So now you know just a little bit about my calling and why I feel such a strong desire to work in media ministry. Now I'd like to hear from you. Do you have a strong sense of calling, whether it be in your career, relationships with others, social justice, church involvement, or other areas? If not, how are you actively seeking that calling? Let's talk about it in the comments!