Dwight A. Moody

Seven years ago I started the Academy of Preachers because young ministerial students did not believe that the preaching/teaching/leading/praying/listening/organizing work of the Christian minister was a socially significant vocation. They wanted to change the world but were not convinced that preaching was an avenue for that ambition.

Now comes an interesting and revealing survey of the way ministers think about their work.

A national business consulting and research firm (PayScale) has compiled a list of the most meaningful and satisfying vocations in the United States.  Read the article and see the complete list here.

They interviewed two million professionals and ask these simple questions: “Are you engaged in meaningful work?  Do you find it satisfying?”

What they got in return pushed education and medicine to the forefront; these two disciplines account for 12 of the top 13 most meaningful jobs as ranked by those who actually practice the craft.

These twelve include kindergarten teachers, surgeons, chiropractors, and English literature professors.

And this list is not surprising, as both education and medicine are widely considered broadly humane and fundamentally important.

But these 12 education and medicine careers do not include the one that placed number one on the list.

It will surprise you: ministers!!

An astounding 98% of ministers surveyed confessed that their work is significant, and 90% said it is personally meaningful.

These are encouraging statistics; they represent hopeful testimonies from the many who labor long and hard in the care of souls.

Yes, I know that the broad based vocation of “minister” is not quite the same as “preaching.”  The latter forms only one element of the ministerial practice. But it is among the most important, and it is surely the most influential.

What ministers say from the pulpit touches souls, inspires congregations, moves communities, and shapes nations. When talent, dedication, and hard work intersect with the good news of God, wondrous thing happen, things we call collectively “the kingdom of God.”

I am glad to be a minister of the gospel and a preacher of the good news. I personally have found it most satisfying, and I continue to embrace it because it is surely a work of great and eternal significance. This is why I give myself to “identifying, networking, supporting, and inspiring young people in the call to gospel preaching.”

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