I recently had two conversations which captured my attention. One was with a young lady whom I interviewed on behalf of a pastoral colleague for an assistant position. I asked her to distinguish the terms “job” and “ministry.” She obviously saw the curve ball coming, adjusted her posture, and knocked it out of the park. For several minutes she waxed eloquently about how our “jobs” actually are ministry, that is, the way in which we serve God. When she finished, I congratulated her on providing a good “Protestant” answer and more importantly a good biblical one.
Shortly afterward I spoke with another follower of Christ. This fellow was deeply dissatisfied with his work because, in his own words, it’s “just a job.” Moreover, the various non-Christians with whom he works constantly use foul language and are less than refined. He wants to quit so that he can begin to serve in ministry.
C.S. Lewis in his book The Weight of Glory speaks to this issue with profound clarity. He writes:
“Christianity does not exclude any of the ordinary human activities. St. Paul tells people to get on with their jobs. He even assumes Christians may go to dinner parties, and what is more, dinner parties given by pagans. Our Lord attends a wedding and provides miraculous wine. Under the aegis of His church, and in the most Christian ages learning and the arts flourish. The solution to this paradox is, of course, well known to you: ‘Whether ye eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1975).
Great post; great challenge!
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