Most of The Heroes of the New Testament Were Not Ministry Folks
They were ranchers, farmers, fishermen, vintners, iron workers, carpenters, tentmakers, textile manufacturers, public officials, construction supervisors and workers, military personnel, financiers, physicians, judges, tax collectors, musicians, sculptors, dancers, poets, and writers, among others.
Almost all of Jesus’ disciples were in “secular” work.
Jesus is our primary model to understand that our work is a calling from God. God placed His Son in a carpenter shop as a young man until the age of 30. A carpenter shop!
Jesus saw His work with an overriding ministry objective to it. He did not view his work as secular, but a sacred calling from God because the Hebrews saw all of life as sacred.
It is interesting to note that of Jesus’ 132 public appearances, 122 were in the workplace. He called 12 other men out of the workplace to join Him, and, He used many of His analogies from workplace situations to demonstrate spiritual principles.
Jesus’ parables show He was thoroughly familiar with the marketplace and its operation. His examples dealt with the following: (list courtesy of Ed Silvoso, Anointed for Business, pg. 41)
construction (Matt. 7:24-27 …a wise man who built his house on the rock…)
wine making (Luke 5:37-38 … new wine must be poured into new wineskins…)
farming (Mark 4:2-20 … A farmer went out to sow his seed…)
treasure hunting (Matt 13:44 … heaven is like treasure hidden in a field…)
ranching (Matt. 18:12-14 … If a man owns a hundred sheep…)
management and labor (Matt. 20:1-16 … heaven is like a landowner…)
family-owned businesses (Matt 21:28-31 … Son, go and work today in the vineyard…)
hostile takeovers (Luke 20:9-19 … So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him…)
return on investments (Matt 25:14-30 … I would have received it back with interest…)
futures markets (Luke 12:16-21 … You have plenty of good things laid up for many years…)
crop yield (Matt 13:23 … a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times…)
management criteria (Luke 12:35-48 … Be dressed ready for service…)
the need for observation and research (Luke 14:24-35 … first sit down and estimate the cost…)
misuse of money, and bankruptcy (Luke 15:11-16 … squandered his wealth…)
the advantage of leverage (Luke 16:1-13 … trusted with…little can also be trusted with much…)
venture capital in high-risk situations (Luke 19:11-27 … Put this money to work…)
Nowhere does God view these people or their work as “second class” or “secular.” Rather, their work accomplishes God’s work in the world. As we do our work each day, we reflect the image of God, who is a working God. If you are in the workplace, your mission field is as great as any mission field in the world.
Levels of Involvement in the Workplace
The 3 roles Christians can have in the Marketplace
1. to be a Christian in the marketplace and show up and do work like everyone else.
2. to be a Christian who shows up and applies biblical principles in the marketplace.
3. to be a Christian who shows up, applies biblical principles, and asks for the power of the Holy Spirit on how to transform the place to look like it would if Jesus was there everyday.
We want to be the last role!
Example of Christianity in the Workplace
George Washington Carver understood his calling from God was his work. He was an inventor that transformed the economy around him. He was born during the height of slavery in the U.S. He lost his mother to slave traders. If there was ever a man who deserved to be a victim to his circumstances, it was he. But God had a plan for his life. He came to faith in Christ as a young boy, and although God gave Carver an inventive mind, he would gain his education under great adversity. Eventually, Carver would become an inventor and have his own laboratory where he would spend time with God early in the morning. The southern agricultural economy was in a shambles after hundreds of years of planting cotton. The land was no longer fertile. Carver was seeking to provide an alternative crop for the farmers. Under this disaster’s crushing weight, Carver beseeched God, “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?” Many years later, he shared that God led him back to his laboratory and worked with him to discover some 300 marketable products from the peanut. Likewise, from the sweet potato he made more than 100 discoveries. Economists and agriculturists agree that Carver contributed more than any other individual to rejuvenate the Southern economy.
Start today to view your work in a different light. You might just transform an entire economy.
Steps to Change Your Thinking
1. Discard the lie you are not a minister.
2. Reject the lie your job in the marketplace is non-spiritual.
3. Officially welcome the Lord Jesus into your workplace.
The Father rules as Lord over the earth. In fact, the Trinity rules over the whole world. Your job should not be the exception. Recognize the Trinity as the head of the corporation where you work. Proclaim their lordship over you in your job.
4. Ask for His efficiency to replace your own deficiency or insufficiency.
This was a very good article. It reminded me of where I came from. When I was a young man and a Police Officer on the Space Coast of Florida, I was always looking for a door to reach those that were going through a difficult time. Can’t tell you how many people that I met along the way who accepted Jesus as savior as they wandered down the wrong pathway of life. Later, as a plumbing contractor, when I entered a home to do service work, I found the Spirit in me very sensitive to the ‘spirit’ of that house and as I was on my knees working found myself praying for the occupant’s of that home. And later as I sat at the kitchen table writing out the bill, so many times the Spirit would open the door to openly pray for the people there and again, I don’t know that I could count how many accepted Christ as there savior. As a young Christian and as I grew older, I have always considered myself blessed that God would use the abilities that I had. Today I advise a small church and their pastors on foreign soil because of what the Spirit of God taught me as a young man. We need to see the sign posts along the way…