The Cost of Doing Ministry


If you’ve ever worked in a business environment, there’s a common conversation that comes up.  Changes in whatever market the business operates in cause the business to have to pay a little (or sometimes a lot!) more than they had been to continue selling their product or offering their service.  Often this comes from taxes or regulations that governments roll out or sometimes the market changes requiring upgrades that are costly.  Every time a business encounters one of these and the cost is significantly less than the opportunity to make money, everyone throws up their hands and says, “That’s just the cost of doing business.”

What they mean by that is this: There is a cost to doing business. Everyone recognizes it and everyone understands that if you want to make money, it sometimes means having to spend money. As long as there is money to be made, it’s worth the investment to generate a profit.

In the Kingdom, there is a cost to doing ministry. It’s not a regular, planned expense like it is in the business world, but they exist. For believers, the cost of doing ministry is more a question of when we pay the price, not if.

Because to truly serve others, it will mean learning how to deny ourselves. It will mean giving up things that others don’t or won’t give up. It will mean refusing to defend or promote yourself in a world where others do it all the time.  It will mean speaking the truth when it’s unpopular and costly. It will mean going the extra mile when there’s no compelling reason to. It will mean laying down even your most “godly” agendas when brothers or sisters in your spiritual family need to be served.

Friends, the Kingdom of God is worth more than whatever cost is to be paid. Jesus said it’s like a treasure hidden in a field that was worth more than whatever a man owned.  But we have to embrace the process of selling everything we have in order to buy the field it’s buried in.

It’s the cost of doing ministry in the Kingdom.

Photo Credit: Cash Paid Out No Sale by Thomas Hawk



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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

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