Sunday, February 24, 2013

Must You Be a Missionary or a Pastor to Make a Difference?

I ran across an excerpt from What Can I Do? Making a Global Difference Right Where You Are by David Livermore (Zondervan, 2011) 
To live out our part of this story as the church means weaving our priestly identity into every part of our lives. Politics are not somehow off-limits for Christians, but they need to be reformed. The domains of art, business, and science should be reclaimed for Christ, not segregated as secular distractions from the “real” work of ministry. My dad used to proudly declare, “Both my sons are in full-time ministry,” and almost as an afterthought he would add, “and my daughter is a nurse.” I realize that “full-time ministry” is sometimes a shorthand way of referring to people who earn their paycheck from full-time employment in a church or ministry. But what could more closely resemble full-time ministry than the work my sister does daily as a nurse, caring for cancer patients and their family members? We have to reject the notion that it’s the really spiritual people who should become the pastors and missionaries. We are all invited to partner with God–as nurses and truck drivers, aunts and uncles, engineers and musicians, and, yes, pastors and missionaries. The problem isn’t that the Christian community lacks doctors, farmers, businesspeople, or musicians in our midst. The problem is that there are so few doctors, farmers, businesspeople, and musicians who are truly living out their priestly identity in their profession.That’s the central idea of this book. Most of us don’t integrate our Christian identity into our daily tasks. While serving as a missionary overseas is one way of fulfilling our priestly calling, so also is serving in a local hospital near home. What matters most is how you live out your unique vocation as a follower of Jesus Christ.
May it be more so.

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