You don’t have to be in full time ministry to serve the Lord!
Your work matters! We were created to work and we will feel most happy and feel most useful when we are doing the work we were created to do.
I have a question (or three). Why is it that so many people feel unfulfilled at work? Why do so many people feel like they need to “move to full time ministry.” Why do people feel like secular work is less “holy” than full time ministry work?
It seems to me that if your heart’s desire is to move to full time ministry work then you might want to start practicing while still in your “secular job.”
I have been doing some great reading on “Work” and here are some interesting quotes I have run across…
Francis Schaeffer noted, “One thing you should very definitely have in mind – that is that a ministry such as teaching the Bible in a college is no higher calling intrinsically than being a businessman or doing something else.”
Martin Luther wrote this: “The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, do not differ one whit in sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks.”
William Tyndale, wrote: “If our desire is to please God, pouring water, washing dishes, cobbling shoes, and preaching the Word is all one.”
Abraham Kuyper, said, “There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ would not cry out ‘This is mine, this belongs to me.’”
William Barclay, said, A man may say, “I am going to church to worship God,” but he should also be able to say, “I am going to the factory, the shop, the office, the school, the garage, the locomotive shed, the mine, the shipyard, the field, the byre, the garden, to worship God.”
Remember: Christ was a carpenter for at least 20 years and only a preacher for 3, his apostles were fisherman and Paul was a tent maker.
Romans 12:1 (The Message) says…
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering.
For 2,000 years Christians have stuck out – mostly for the unusual things they did. For instance, during the Roman empire when sons were more desired, wealthy Roman families would put unwanted baby girls on the city wall to die. It was the Christians that took in those unwanted children, and the concept of the orphanage was born. When barbarians were sacking the empire and burning their way across Europe, it was Christian monks who hid and protected books and learning. They eventually created our university system. Some of the greatest scientists and artists throughout history were believers. Throughout the years, Christians have done the things the rest of society wouldn’t do – care for lepers, the mentally handicapped, orphans – anyone the world despised.
But today, with many exceptions, it’s getting harder to tell some Christians (Christian or Disciple?) apart from the rest of the culture – based on the things we do. Today, there are secular organizations that work in most areas of need, and especially during the last 50 years, believers have retreated into a “Christian bubble” and nearly stopped engaging the culture altogether. It seems that the most important place we have surrendered and retreated is the workplace. Many Christians view work as something they do five to six days a week and not as an ordained opportunity from God.
Do your co-workers know you are a Christian?
I think Christians need to excel in their respective fields. Christian Car Dealers should excel. Civil Servants should excel. Educators should excel. Businessmen and women should excel. Janitors should excel. Farmers should excel. We should take the talents that God has given us and sow them as seed in the fertile soil of obedience to Christ.
What God has given us to do (work), we must do and do as well as we can as unto the Lord.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men… (Colossians 3:23 NIV)
Imagine the full time ministry opportunity you would have if all of your co-workers noticed your hard work (and your success) and continually asked you, “How do you do that?”