Pay-ers, Pray-ers, and Play-ers
by Dr. Craig von Buseck
Have you ever noticed that there are some people who are motivated and driven to make money, while others are just happy to have their basic needs met? Then there are those who are driven to be obedient to the Great Commission, so they are often raising money, not for themselves, but for the ministry.
As believers, we are all called to minister for God in whatever job or role He assigns us in life. But in my experience I’ve seen that these roles can be divided into three general callings. I call them pay-ers, pray-ers, and play-ers.
The pay-ers are those who God gifts to make money to fund the work of the Kingdom. Those who are pray-ers are intercessors who have a burden for the work of the Kingdom. Finally, the play-ers are the ones who physically preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.
I deliberately put play-ers at the end so we can adjust our thinking regarding pay-ers and pray-ers.
I have a friend who owns a successful business. God has blessed him and has given him a gifted mind in his technical field. He knows how to raise capital and how to distribute his funds frugally to cover his costs while also carving out a reasonable amount for profit. He has wisdom in hiring the right people, purchasing the right equipment, and building relationships with customers.
Now this man has the intelligence to make a successful pastor or Bible teacher. But God has called him to the business world and has blessed him with the ability to make money. God revealed to him that He has blessed his business so that he can be a blessing to others—and particularly to Kingdom causes. Over the years he has given above his tithe to the local church to ministries, missions, and ministers as the Holy Spirit leads.
The Bible mentions this gifting in the book of Deuteronomy:
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
God will bless leaders with knowledge and creativity so that they can make wealth to fund ministry endeavors. The New King James translation of Proverbs 8:12 says that wisdom gives knowledge of “witty inventions”—ideas that can generate income to bless people, and to take the Gospel around the world!
The pray-ers are the intercessors. These folks are often in the background, quietly lifting up prayers and petitions to God. Because the Bible tells us to pray privately, they don’t often shine as “leaders” in a church or ministry—but they shine like stars in the eyes of God.
Prayer is the foundation upon which any ministry will thrive. The pray-ers are the most overlooked and undervalued part of most ministries—and perhaps the most essential.
The final group is the play-ers—these are the vocational ministers who give their lives in service to the Lord. These are the Billy Graham’s and the Mother Teresa’s of this world. But they are also the unknown and unnamed missionaries, Christian school teachers, homeschool parents, pastors, elders, apostles, Bible college professors and administrators, evangelists, prophets, para-church ministers, television evangelists, Internet evangelist, and more.
They are people who have counted the cost, picked up their cross, laid down their lives, and followed Christ no matter what is required of them.
If it is only the play-ers doing the work of the ministry—as it is in some churches and organizations—then multitudes of people will never have the opportunity to hear the Gospel message. Why? Because it is a mathematical impossibility. There are not enough people in the full-time ministry to reach the millions of lost people in the world—even with the advent of modern modes of communication like television, radio, and the Internet. It will take the entire Body of Christ, working in unity and following the direction of Jesus to see the Great Commission accomplished.
The play-ers need the support of the pay-ers and the pray-ers in order for their ministry to be effective. In fact, without the pay-ers and the pray-ers, the players would be severely limited, if not completely constricted, from doing what God has called them to do.
Every believer needs to ask God, “Am I a pay-er, a pray-er, or a play-er?” When God answers that question, follow that course with diligence, asking the Lord to lead you and to bless the work of your hands.
Dr. Craig von Buseck is the host of the “Grace and Truth” program on the Faith Radio Network. You can hear him every Saturday at 4 p.m. (EST). Check http://myfaithradio.com/programs/grace-truth/ for local listings, or to listen online. Craig’s latest book, Nobody Knows: The Harry T. Burleigh Story is available in bookstores everywhere. Learn more at www.vonbuseck.com.
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