By Jamie Shafer
It’s not unusual for Christians to encounter a career crossroads, a moment when they wonder if they should serve God by making a shift to work in vocational ministry. Although Chris Mindach’s daily job is about helping clients with marketing, he said he is in full-time ministry.
“I grew up in a Christian family,” shared Chris. “My dad was a minister and a Bible teacher, so I was in the church 24/7.” Although he found that his faith didn’t really become his own until middle school.
“When I was going into sixth grade, I was invited to a church camp over the summer. That is when I really gave my heart to Jesus and took ownership of my faith. From then on I was always a part of youth group.”
Growing in his faith since that time, Chris acknowledged that his life hasn’t been without struggles. “My daily goal is just to stay focused on Christ. It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but we don’t have to be perfect. We are not exempt from messing up.”
Making Ministry Personal
Over time Chris found that his own imperfections allowed him to better support individuals who were struggling. He said others feel more comfortable talking with him when he shares his own story.
Growing up Chris often worked in restaurants. Even today he said he stills feels led to be there as a ministry.
“There is often a reason someone is working in a restaurant,” he said. “You can make money in the restaurant business, but it’s not always a professional choice. There are a lot of people who are restarting their life after a divorce or are facing addictions.”
In addition to his regular job, Chris works at a local restaurant one day a week as his personal ministry. Ultimately he just wants to serve and encourage the people who are working there. “For me, it’s truly a labor of love. I go there with a goal of being different. I want to show others that Christianity isn’t just rules and regulations. It’s about people who still have hope at the end of the day.
“One of the things I see that burdens me the most is the overload of single mothers working in the restaurant. It breaks my heart. We are called to care for orphans, widows, and, I believe, single moms. I make it a point to have strong boundaries, but I want them to know that whether a man loves them or not, Christ does.”
Chris said that some of his coworkers have been amazed by his kindness and demonstration of Christ’s love. He has had the blessing of befriending one mother who was abandoned by her child’s father. Chris was able to be a part of helping her get on her feet and serve as a friend to her son.
“There is another mom that I have been able to invest in for over a year now. Recently we were talking about life and some tough stuff. She decided to give her heart to the Lord. She was broken and said she realized she needed something more than what she had then. I was able to help her find a church family and get connected with women who can help her on her walk.”
Choosing a Road
For those who are struggling at a crossroads moment or trying to find that perfect place to invest their lives, Chris wants to encourage them. “God already has given the call in the Great Commission. Sometimes we get caught up in what it looks like in our day-to-day but I would say, just go. Keep going until God tells you to stop. I don’t have to be a minister to demonstrate a life of faith. Ultimately God brings all my blessings, not my boss or my clients.
“I never try to fix people or provide the answer for their pain. I come beside them in their pain and simply try to guide them to the one who will reveal all the answers and provide true peace.”
Chris also wants to encourage others: “Share your story. It’s OK to relate with people and show them the freedom you have found. Any story that ends in the freedom and peace of Christ is the best story to tell.”
Jamie Shafer is a communications strategist for Fishhook Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.