When a Job Requires a Move
Our very existence is about glorifying God. But how does that factor into how we pray through accepting a job that requires a move? What are the considerations you should make when deciding whether or not to move to a new place?
For most Americans, it’s simple. Is the move better for my career? Is there more money to be had with this move? Does the move make me more upwardly mobile? Is it a step up the career ladder? For many, the line of questioning seems to stop here.
Putting Career in its Place
For followers of Jesus, career aspirations are good things, but it becomes a problem when they become ultimate things. Far too many plan to uproot and move somewhere new in pursuit of career advancement without giving consideration to things that ought to carry even more weight.
A job is a job. A healthy church is family. Move wisely.
“As soon as we get there, our first priority will be to find a healthy church to plug into.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words spoken by a well-meaning person on the brink of moving.
What's Most Important?
How do you know if any healthy churches exist in that area? When I say church, I don’t mean a Sunday service that you find decent enough to merit your attendance. I mean the community of people you will immerse yourself and your family into. I mean the group upon which you will rely for support, help, encouragement, and rebuke. I mean the people you will share countless meals with while raising kids together, the people your kids will befriend and be shaped by. I mean the community you will walk alongside in representing the kingdom of God in the city. Your partners in mission.
It might very well be that making a move is the wise, faithful, God-honoring thing for you to do. But if you have vetted your new job while just assuming the spiritual/church/community components will work themselves out, then your thought process is flawed. Even if you end up making the correct decision, you’ve arrived there incorrectly.
Counting the Cost
In moving somewhere new, you will be leaving behind your network of relationships you have worked to cultivate. The people you know and are known by. People who have labored alongside you. People who have gone to war with you in prayer. People you have celebrated with, wept with, mourned with. People who know the particular ways in which you need to be pointed back to Jesus and his finished work. Leaders and pastors who have earned your trust and proven worthy of retaining it.
What is the cost of leaving this behind? What is the cost for your family? Have you considered how much effort will be required to start over with a new group of people? These are things that money cannot buy. These are more valuable than money or promotion. These are the things that make life vibrant and beautiful and bearable.
By all means, if you are called by God to move somewhere to be a part of creating or strengthening a healthy community of believers, go. But if you are moving only for the financial and career benefits without giving consideration to spiritual matters, count the cost.
Because following Jesus means sometimes you don't follow the money.