101 gospel jobs

One of my key roles as MTS Director is to encourage people to think about their life path and consider becoming a ‘fisher of people’ (Mark 1:17). Over the course of the last two years, I have come to realize that your average Christian has a very limited understanding of the different gospel ministry jobs that exist. So I did some ‘market research’ between January and June 2008. In any Christian gathering (where it was appropriate), I asked men and women this question: “I want you to picture in your mind’s eye a gospel worker—someone who is dedicated to prayerfully passing on the message of Christ to people. Picture this gospel worker/minister in your head. Have you got a person in mind? [People answer “Yes.”] Okay, tell me who they are.”

All but a handful mentioned the senior minister at their local suburban church. I would have put 10-12 groups of keen Christians through this exercise over a six-month period so that the tally equalled about 100 people. I did it in churches and at training days and MTS Challenge conferences. 95% of the keen Christians I surveyed immediately thought of the local suburban senior pastor when encouraged to picture in their mind’s eye a ‘gospel worker’.

I thought to myself, “We need to widen people’s horizons. We need to communicate the variety and diversity of gospel jobs that exist”. So a small group of MTS friends got together with a whiteboard and marker, and brainstormed. Our aim? To create a tool—a list of “101 gospel jobs”. The result? See below. We came up with more than 101 gospel jobs in an hour. You’ll probably be able to come up with 101 more. I hope you do!

We used this list at our MTS Challenge conferences to encourage people to ‘think outside the square’ —to ponder their gifts, their passions, and the list and the possibilities. In the workshop where the list was revealed, we had really vigorous discussions about the plethora of ways God can use his people to pass on the gospel and grow people in Christ.

At MTS, we want to affirm that ‘gospel ministry’ is different to ‘creation ministry’. Gospel ministry involves “preaching the Word (not just from the pulpit) prayerfully to people”. So if we take the example of job #2, we need to remember that an Ephesians 6:4 father is very different to the father who does not honour Jesus as saviour and Lord. Godly dads do heaps of gospel work!

We hope you find the list encouraging. We hope it broadens believers’ minds and opens up a whole heap of possibilities. The list is the result of a one-hour whiteboard splat; it isn’t perfect, but we hope it will spur on Christians everywhere to be great commisionaries for Jesus (Matt 28:16-20)! We hope Christians will look at their gifts, identify an area of interest and ponder anew the possibilities open to them to proclaim Christ and live like him.

101 gospel jobs (+7)

  1. Mother
  2. Father
  3. Church-based Children’s Ministry
  4. Church-based Youth Ministry
  5. Church Pastor/Senior Pastor
  6. Executive (admin) Pastor
  7. Apprentice Training Pastor
  8. Associate/Assistant Pastor
  9. Music/Worship Ministry
  10. Women’s Pastor
  11. Pastoral Worker
  12. Women’s Ministry Trainer
  13. School Chaplain
  14. Primary School Scripture Teacher
  15. High School Scripture Teacher
  16. Scripture Coordinator
  17. Christian Studies Teacher (Christian School)
  18. Christian School Leadership
  19. Boarding House ‘Master‘ or Pastor
  20. University student Ministry Team member (e.g. with AFES)
  21. University student Ministry Campus Director (e.g. with AFES)
  22. International Student Ministry (ministry to students who come to study from overseas)
  23. University Postgraduate/Staff Ministry
  24. University College Chaplaincy
  25. University College Admin/leadership
  26. Theological Education
  27. Itinerant Ministry
  28. Evangelist
  29. Evangelism Trainer
  30. Apologist (e.g. Centre for Public Christianity)
  31. Hive off Church Planter (i.e. leave an existing congregation with 20 members to plant a new one)
  32. Pioneer Church Planter
  33. Prison Chaplaincy
  34. Prison/Detention Centre Bible Ministry
  35. Hospital Chaplaincy
  36. Refugee Ministry
  37. Youth Outreach Ministry (e.g. RICE)
  38. Women’s/Youth Refuge ministry
  39. Gospel Foster Caring (e.g. Anglicare)
  40. Seniors Pastor
  41. Aged Care/Nursing Home Chaplain
  42. Sports Chaplain (e.g. to the NSW Cricket Team)
  43. Truckies Chaplain
  44. Industry Chaplain
  45. Police/Emergency Services Chaplain
  46. Defence Force Chaplain
  47. Defence Network Ministry (e.g. Fighting Words)
  48. City Business Network Ministry (e.g. ECOM)
  49. Christian Resources Writing (e.g. CEP)
  50. Christian Book Writing (e.g. Matthias Media)
  51. Christian Book Editing/Publishing
  52. Christian Advertising/Posters (e.g. FEVA and Outreach Media)
  53. Website and Graphic design
  54. Web-based Ministry (e.g. christianity.net.au)
  55. Ministry Training Consultant (e.g. MTS)
  56. Leadership Development/Training Consultant
  57. Radio Ministry (e.g. Kel Richards)
  58. TV Ministry (e.g. Audio Advice)
  59. Songwriter (e.g. Nathan Tasker)
  60. Cult Rescue Ministry
  61. Retreat based Ministry/Training (e.g. Cornerstone)
  62. Camping Ministries (e.g. Youthworks)
  63. Outdoor Adventure Ministry (e.g. Youthworks)
  64. Conference/House party ministries
  65. Bible Translators (e.g. Wycliffe)
  66. Bible Distribution (e.g. Gideons and Bible League)
  67. Mentoring and Pastoring Pastors (e.g. John Mark Ministry)
  68. Episcopal Ministry (Bishops)
  69. Archdeacons Ministry
  70. Denominational Ministries (various)
  71. Parent Education Ministries (e.g. Focus on the Family)
  72. Marriage Education Ministries (e.g. Prepare)
  73. TAFE Ministry
  74. Parliamentary Chaplaincy/network ministry
  75. Lobbying Ministries (e.g. Australian Christian Lobby)
  76. Welfare Ministry Evangelism
  77. Abuse Recovery Chaplain
  78. Christian Bookstore Manager
  79. Cross-Cultural Evangelist
  80. Children’s Evangelist/Entertainer
  81. Puppet Ministry
  82. Convention Ministry (e.g. KCC)
  83. Mission—Church Pastor (NB Mission = homeland and overseas)
  84. Mission—Theological Education
  85. Mission—Student Ministry
  86. Mission—Leadership Training and Development
  87. Mission—Evangelist
  88. Medical/Welfare Missionaries
  89. Mission Hospital/Welfare Admin
  90. Mission School Teacher
  91. Mission Society Leadership
  92. Mission Support (e.g. CMS)
  93. Fundraiser/Deputationist (e.g. Dunham and Co)
  94. Part-time Pastoral Work
  95. Self-funded Pastoral Work
  96. Ministry Apprentice Training Pastor
  97. Christian Comedian
  98. Film Ministry (e.g. Ignite)
  99. Mobile Ministry Maintenance
  100. Retreat-Based Evangelism Ministry (e.g. L’Abri-type—Schaeffer)
  101. Journalist (e.g. Southern Cross)
  102. Mega Church Pastor
  103. University Student Ministry Evangelist
  104. University Student Ministry Trainer (in Two ways to live, Growth Groups, Missions, etc.)
  105. Movement Leader (e.g. Mike Lynch, Vision 100)
  106. Muslim Ministry Facilitator (Evangelism Ministry)
  107. Muslim Ministry Evangelist
  108. Women’s Muslim Ministry Evangelist

The list is endless!

3 thoughts on “101 gospel jobs

  1. This post confused me.

    You asked people to think of “someone who is dedicated to prayerfully passing on the message of Christ to people”.

    This is what every Christian should be. So I expected a post saying “look, you can do gospel ministry whatever your job and position in society”. The first two options on the list (mother and father) back up that principle.

    But then most of the list is about people in salaried ministry/church/mission jobs. Are you trying to encourage everyone into overtly “Christian” work, whatever that is? Or have I misunderstood this post?

  2. <i>So I expected a post saying “look, you can do gospel ministry whatever your job and position in society”. </i>

    I’m not Ben, but the thought occurs that his list involves any job where the speaking of the gospel is the prime responsibility—which helps explain why ‘mother’ and ‘father’, although in my experience unpaid jobs, top the list.

    The job of being a neurosurgeon or a street sweeper may well provide opportunities for speaking the gospel, but speaking the gospel is not one of the core responsibilities of such jobs. Indeed, when you sign on for some jobs it is quite possible that doing them diligently will involve not speaking at all.

    Imagine what consequences might befall if the street sweeper was distracted by speaking. Her hand might slip just as she was about to remove a particular juicy dog offering, with terrible implications for health and safety.

    (I was all set to give a non-sexist illustration involving a female neurosurgeon, but the last time someone operated on me they gabbled away to the nurse the whole time. Not to mention that being a street sweeper is much more important for public health).

  3. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for this post – it has prompted me to think again about something thats been wandering around in my mind for a while.

    That is, why do we feel we have to ‘footnote’ mission as ‘homeland and overseas’? (#83). Why can’t we just have ‘overseas missionary’ as a distinct category?

    I’m thinking on this list the ‘homeland and overseas’ category is a bit redundant – what is the difference between being a homeland pastor (83) and a church pastor (5)? 

    But the bigger issue is not one of ‘list consistency’ – I know this list serves as a brainstorm and thats fine. I’m wondering why we feel the need to somehow say that overseas mission can’t be a distinct category?

    Is there possibly a sense of ‘everything we do is mission’ creeping in here, which means the distinctive nature of overseas missionary work is being lost?

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