“You’re NOT all in! (Greg Wingfield–guest blogger)

You’re NOT All In!

I can’t begin to tell you how much those words stung. I went to the front of the church auditorium in Costa Mesa, CA for prayer. The speaker said, “If you are struggling in ministry and you want us to pray for you, please come to the front.” So I did. The pastor asked, “How can I pray for you.” I started to explain, “I’m running a business and working to plant a church, and I’m scared and struggling…” I couldn’t even finish my sentence before the guy leveled me with, “Well your problem is that you’re not all in! You have a lack of faith, so I’m going to pray that God would give you faith!”

I have no idea what he prayed. I just felt like a total loser. I went for encouragement and walked away in total rejection, and those words rang in my heart for years. I felt like a second-class pastor. I had all the best intention to serve the kingdom but apparently would never hit the mark.

Wow! Have things changed!

Fast forward to 2015. A friend invited me to an event with Liberty Church Network in Baltimore, Maryland. Before the event, the guy who was in charge walked up to me and introduced himself. His name is Jimmy Carroll, the president of LCN. He said, “So, tell me your story.” Interesting start. When I told him that I was a businessman who started a church, he interrupted me…”Oh great,” I thought, “here we go again.” I will never forget his next words. “Greg, what you are doing is the model for the future of ministry!” Wow! I’d never been a model before! It’s kinda cool.

This morning I read an article in the Washington Post about a married couple who are both Lutheran ministers. Between husband and wife, they pastor five churches…all five are struggling. The article goes on to talk about the financial challenges of local churches across the country. Let me share two thoughts:

Pastors and those who aspire to pastoral ministry, consider building a career while pastoring a church. I just wrote about this a couple weeks ago. Take a look at Get A Career.

Business and career people, consider planting a church or building a ministry around your gifts while working in your business or career. Over the next ten years, churches in the US are going to see a dramatic drop in financial giving. If those of us who have means beyond the local church checkbook don’t step up, church planting and pastoral ministry will suffer greatly.

You may say, “But Greg, I want to be a career pastor.” My response?? “You’re not all in!!  Ha!”

Article first appeared on www.gregwigfield.com. Greg’s church plant is called Destiny Church in Leesburg, VA. The congregation numbers 500+ and are busy raising freelance church planters. BTW, Greg’s insurance agency continues to thrive while employing more than 40 people. You can do both…

We’d like to hear your experiences. Has it been difficult pushing against church culture if you chose to maintain a career while pastoring? Please share with us in the comments box below.



6 thoughts on ““You’re NOT all in! (Greg Wingfield–guest blogger)”

  1. Thank you for this post, Ralph. Mikes story relieves a hidden burden of guilt for those of us who both pastor and support our families though another career. I especially liked the tag comment at the end that Mike’s church is 500+ and his insurance business is likewise thriving. “You can do both…”

  2. I am a Kenyan Pastor and Church Planter. I planted an indipedent non denominational Church in our city, while still maintaining my secular Job as a Public Health Specialist dealing with HIV programs. This year we are celebrating our 8 the year, my work and businesses are major supporters of the Church plant. Off course when I meet the “Full Time” pastors some stigmatize me saying am not really called, that I should leave all my nets and fishing boats and follow Jesus. My thinking is even Apostle Paul was bi vicational—- when it comes to Church planting especially here in Africa and in Kenya, its capital intensive —- and we need to adopt models that encourages bi-vocation minister. Ave now planted 5 more Churches and still counting. Our pastors are bi- vocational.
    Bishop. Steve Kathaka
    Kingdom Life Christian Ministry- Bungoma Kenya.
    What’s App+254716633744

  3. I have enjoyed a healthy career in large software company for the past 20 years. God has called me to plant a church but he has not called me to quit my job so it is great to see this Trend of bivocational church planting

    I think back to the Acts church and what they had to start that church

    1- A supernatural experience with Jesus
    2- a willingness to obey
    3- the Holy Spirt

    We talk a lot about budgets and buildings but these men and woman only had these resources

    Today I have a Job, a Car , a house , my health , internet , social media , and freedom to share the gospel without threat of harm or death

    So I have everything they had and more !

    Time to get busy and obey the Word of God and plant churches !

    Please pray for The Kingdom if God to grow in south Florida area


  4. I’m part of the Next Generation of Church planters who strive not only keeping our jobs but sharing with our membership to keep jobs. More importantly we strive to start business that will help encourage building the Kingdom and sharing the gospel. True story, I too once give up 36,000 a year to start full time Ministry only for God to teach me to trust totally in him. After 3 years of total support from support raising. God told me to now get a job! I was like what? Yeah get a job so I did and now I work for a 501c 3 organization and have started my own cleaning services. More money for Ministry and not living on the back of poor saints. The greatest Apostle ever made tents, what are you doing with the skills God gave you, the same Apostle said if you don’t work you don’t eat, I wonder what that’s all about? If you have a job do ministry, if you don’t have a job start a business and do ministry! Much love in Jesus Name!

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