Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Full-Time Christian Service Myth

Photo by: Arvind Balaraman

The mechanic tells everyone he knows about Christ. Some of the guys at the garage think he’s a little nutty, but he continues to smile and hum the odd hymn. He reads his Bible after lunch for a few minutes, and no one doubts he walks the walk.

She’s a Christian schoolteacher in Dyasunga Land.* A class full of eager faces greets her each morning. She loves seeing those scrubbed black faces and smart uniforms, and she’s excited about teaching her fourth graders about God’s love.

The pastor studies each day for several hours, plus visiting the sick and poor and those who can no longer get out to church. He spends time on the phone, encouraging others. He prepares four messages a week and prays long and often for God’s leading, so that he can shepherd his flock.

The accountant goes over another set of books. This project seems to have taken forever, but the challenge is good. His associates admire him for his conscientious thoroughness and accuracy. Little by little, he’s worked himself up in the office. His job gives him the opportunity to share Christ on lunch breaks and in social situations. One of his co-workers has already visited his church.

The shut-in feels her calling is to intercede for others. God knows she can’t leave the house much. So, the dear old lady gets out her prayer journal and prays. She intercedes for missionaries, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, children and their spouses. She prays for the sick and for the others shut it, like herself. She prays for her pastor, for persecuted believers all over the world, and for the peace of Jerusalem. She spends an hour each morning, going through her list and looking to the Lord to meet each need. Throughout her day, she reads the Bible and prays some more. People call her for counsel and to tell her how things are going.

The young mother struggles to get all five children into their car seats, so that she can go to the grocery store. The eldest is nine, and she leads a busy life. Diapers, feedings, washing clothes, and cooking fill up the day between waking and nap times. At the end of the day, she is worn out—about the time her husband gets home from work. She is teaching the older children to love God, and they even memorize Bible verses and passages together. Two are already in piano lessons. And, today, she desperately needs groceries.

Tell me, which of these are in full-time Christian service?

Traditionally, we think of those who get paid to serve the Lord. Those would be the pastor and the missionary schoolteacher.

But, how about the mechanic, accountant, shut-in, and the young mother? Are they not full-time Christians?

The Bible says it’s right to honor the pastor for his work and his position. He literally watches for the souls of his church people. It is a great responsibility and one he doesn’t take lightly. (Hebrews 13:7, 17)

The Bible also tells us of missionaries going into all the world to share the gospel. The Apostle Paul was perhaps one of the first, and many have been sent after him. The missionary teacher in Dyasunga Land is in full-time Christian work. She was willing to go far away from home and live and serve, sharing Jesus with African children.

I remember hearing a guest preacher say that God was calling all young people to be pastors, missionaries, or wives of pastors and missionaries. I remember my reaction. I was a young woman, pursuing a liberal arts education, and I was shocked! I remember thinking that if God wanted every Christian to be either pastors or missionaries, there wouldn’t be anyone in the pew. Nor would there be any working Christians who could send missionaries! Thankfully, the host preacher got up after the sermon and “fixed” it all in his closing prayer. He thanked God for young people in any calling who were spreading the gospel where God put them. I left the building with a big smile on my face and in my heart.

Every calling is a sacred calling.

Whether God has led you to clean buildings, cook food, work at a bank, clerk at a store, study, counsel people on finances, work at a pregnancy center, be a lawyer, write a book, go to the mission field, use your sports abilities, teach in public school, or whatever; every calling is good.

If you are walking in God’s will, you are where you are in order to influence people for Christ.

The important thing is to live that way!

Are we sharing Christ with others?

Here are some ideas for opening the conversation for sharing your faith:
  1. Get on the same level. Be every bit as human as he is. Make sure the other person doesn’t perceive that you look down on him. Look for things you have in common. It can be anything, really, but make the “friend tie” between you and him.
  2. Share normal life with him. When an associate knows something about your kids, your garden, or your dog, he will feel like you are someone he can talk to.
  3. Smile. You don’t have to look dopey, but being pleasant goes a long way towards attracting people to the Lord. (No one wants to see a sourpuss more than he has to.)
  4. Don’t share Christ in the workplace without doing your work. I’ve heard of people who were so very evangelistic they forgot to do what they were being paid for. That’s probably not the best way to witness! If you want to talk to work associates, do it on free time, unless you can work well and talk, too.
  5. Be consistent in your own personal walk. You can detract from your message if you: lie, steal, wear skimpy clothing, flirt, tell rude jokes, etc. Make sure your actions honor Christ and back up your faith.
  6. Pray for open doors. Ask God to help you reach Sam, Bob, and Jim. Ask God to help you share your faith with Jill, Becky, and Suzanne. When God opens the door, He will help you see it, if you’re praying. Then, share your testimony with your friend.
  7. Don’t be pushy. Share your faith, and watch God work. Do not cram your beliefs down anyone’s throat, and don’t argue. Just present the gospel of Jesus* to your friend and watch God do the rest. You can invite your friend to your church from time to time, but don’t overdo it. Ask God for wisdom. (* 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
  8. Be bold. It takes guts to share Christ with anyone. When God opens the door, make sure you obey and walk through it. The most important thing you can do in life is share the Truth. (Acts 4:29)
  9. Trust God for souls. When you are living in God’s plan for you, you will see others trust the Lord as their Savior. Be a light, and trust the Lord to work in hearts. 

May God bless you as you serve Him full-time!

*Dyasunga Land is a fictitious country in Africa.


  1. You know me well enough to know I agree with this very much. :-)

    1. Thank you, Barbara. I appreciate your vote. :o) God bless!


Please share your thoughts.