November 15, 2018 • Life for Leaders
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
We have seen that each Christian participates in the ministry. Every single one of us could be called a minister of Christ. Yet, our personal ministry is not something separate from others. Your ministry is also our ministry. We share together in our service to Christ and to others in his name. This is a crucial element of ministry that we must understand and live.
But, you may be wondering, how do I live this out in a practical way? When I go to my place of work, or when I work from home, I’m not with people from my church. If I’m going to be a minister of Christ in my work, it seems as if I have to go it alone. Right?
Well, it might feel like that. But, no, even if you’re the only person from your church in your particular workplace, you are not actually alone. You are still a member of the body of Christ. Your ministry through your work is still an expression of the ministry of the church.
What might this mean in practice? Well, one of the most obvious ways to experience the shared nature of your workplace ministry is through prayer. If you’re in a small group, share with others your challenges at work. Share how God is forming you through your work. Ask folks to pray for you, encourage you, and perhaps even hold you accountable.
Technology, sometimes the bane of our existence, can be a great help here. Suppose you and a brother or sister in Christ agree to text each other once a day with a work-related prayer concern. Then, when you receive the text from your friend, share by text your prayer for that person. Or, perhaps your small group can have a group text in which members share some biblical insight related to work. If you have five members of your group, divvy up the days. On Monday, you share something with the group. On Tuesday, it’s another’s turn, and so forth.
I’ve shared just a couple of examples of how you might experience the “our ministry” dimension of “your ministry” in your workplace, even if you are the only Christian in your organization. The possibilities here are limitless. What’s important is that we learn how to live the reality of shared ministry whether we are physically present with other believers or physically separated. Even when apart, we are still the body of Christ, still connected through the Spirit, and still sharing together in the ministry of Christ.
Something to Think About:
When you are at work, do you ever feel as if you’re connected to other Christians? If so, when? And why? If not, why not?
Can you think of ways that the “our ministry” reality could make sense in your daily work?
Something to Do:
In the next week, do something tangible to experience the “our ministry” dimension of your ministry through your work.
Gracious God, thank you for calling each one of us into your ministry. And thank you for not calling us as solo ministers, but rather as part of a giant ministry team. Help me, Lord, to experience the “our ministry” reality as I do my work. Give me creativity about how to do this for myself and for others. Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
What If Your Workplace IS Your Mission Field?
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
It seems to me that you missed an opportunity with this post. What about urging believers in the workplace to seek out other believers who might not necessarily attend the same church (gasp!), but could even belong to a different denomination? What about celebrating the workplace as one of the best contexts in which the unity of the church (as well as the priesthood of all believers) can be demonstrated to an unbelieving world?
Great idea and suggestion! Thanks.