“You don’t hear much about work in most churches today. That’s surprising when you consider it’s a topic that touches the lives of everyone in every congregation. Whether they’re young men and women looking for their first jobs in high school, college graduates plotting out their career paths, parents facing tight finances or the threat of unemployment, or senior saints approaching retirement, everyone in the church body needs to have a biblical perspective on work. And while the subject is not often mentioned in most pulpits, God’s Word actually has a lot to say about the reality of work and the way we work.
The church’s relative silence about work actually indicates a larger point of confusion for many believers. They see their work and church lives as divided and compartmentalized. Put simply, they see a separation between the sacred and secular parts of their lives. For some, that separation serves as license to slack off. They don’t understand how or why their performance at work has an impact on their testimony to others. But for most Christians, the idea that there is a division between sacred and secular is a source of discouragement. They desire to be in full-time ministry, wanting to devote their whole hearts and lives to serving God’s people and evangelizing the lost. But they see their regular jobs as unfulfilling distractions from the more important kingdom work that pastors and missionaries do.
Perhaps you echo those feelings yourself. Maybe you would like to quit your secular job and devote yourself entirely to ministry and serving God’s people. Let me encourage you – there is no division between sacred and secular in the lives of believers. Knowing and loving the Lord sanctifies even the mundane aspects of our lives and brings an eternal purpose to bear on everything we do. So no matter what our day-to-day jobs are, we’re all called to live lives of full-time ministry. Your opportunities to serve the Lord and His people don’t end when you exit the doors of your church. Whether you’re a doctor, a grocery clerk, a truck driver, a flight attendant, a teacher, a police officer, a professional athlete, or a day laborer, your workplace is your mission field. At work you’re more than an employee – you’re an ambassador for God’s truth. You’re not just there to punch a clock, perform a task, and receive a wage. There is an eternal purpose in your work. Your job is the vehicle the Lord has chosen to bring you into contact with people who need to hear and believe His Word.
That’s not an invitation to shirk your work duties in favor of non-stop preaching to your co-workers – that kind of behavior is a poor testimony (and would likely lead to unemployment). Do your job, and do it well. Be a conscientious steward of the time your employer pays you for. But remember each day to look for opportunities and fresh ways to declare God’s truth to your co-workers. They are watching and listening, and your example and your words can have an eternal impact in their lives. In fact, when it comes to reaching spiritually lost men and women, you probably have an advantage over your pastor. While he spends the majority of his time working and meeting with other Christians, you’re face to face with nonbelievers on a daily basis. It’s not a coincidence that you’re surrounded every day by people who need to hear the truth of Scripture. The Lord has put you into a unique, specific position to reach the lives around you with the gospel. From heaven’s perspective, your “secular” job has vast, eternal consequences.”
Copied from the recent Grace to You newsletter, which is the teaching ministry of John MacArthur.