You can have a career and a calling. Colossians 3:17 ways, “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” We often struggle to figure out what God has called us to do. We ask ourselves questions such as, Is this my calling? Is this my ministry? What if I’m gifted in a career but feel as if I’m not doing the work of God? The truth is that God didn’t give you a talent that you can’t give back to Him. J. T. Pugh said it this way: “The will of God is that you do the work of God wherever you are.”
If you are a doctor, minister to your patients. If you are a lawyer, fight for justice. If you are an architect, design churches. If you are a chef, cook for those less fortunate. If you are a teacher, teach Sunday school. If you are an entrepreneur, find creative ways to reach the needs of your community. Because the bottom line is this: minister should be a verb before it is a noun. We are all called to minister. Our workplace can be our harvest field because our sphere of influence is where we can minister most effectively.
Your Place of Work Is Your Field of Ministry
In our particular city the days of knocking on strangers’ doors and asking them if they want to make it to Heaven is no longer the most effective way to reach people. Most people won’t answer their door in the current chaotic environment. Shifting times call for shifting strategies. The most effective way to reach people today is through relationships, so God places His people in every field so they can reach their world. You might be the only light and witness of Jesus Christ to those in your area of influence, so minister there. And because it’s where the harvest is, it’s your calling. That hospital is your calling. That restaurant is your calling. That office building is your calling. That construction site is your calling. Your career is your calling.You might be the only Jesus these people will ever see, so shine His love brightly! Click To Tweet
The twelve apostles left their careers to engage in “full-time ministry.” Perhaps you are one of those who have been called to sacrifice a secular career to serve full time at a local church. We celebrate you and we are thankful for you. We must have pastors and leaders. However, a pastor may never have the opportunity to reach your coworkers who may have no intention of coming to a church service. So the kingdom of God is waiting on you as a called minister in the workforce to share the gospel where you are. The vast majority of followers of Jesus Christ had a trade, and they used that trade to help build the Kingdom.
The career with which you provide for your family is a calling. The career that enables you to support the local church is a calling. The career you use to share the gospel with your coworkers is a calling. Don’t let the enemy tell you that because you are not in full-time ministry, you’re not a minister. You might be the only Jesus these people will ever see, so shine His love brightly!
Paul and His Trade
The career with which you provide for your family is a calling.
The Bible relates beautiful stories of those who were mightily used by God while working at a trade. Perhaps the best example of this is Paul. In Acts 17, Paul preached a notable sermon on Mars’ Hill, but after the Grecians’ negative response, he traveled to Corinth and joined forces with some fellow tentmakers. Paul was no less a minister because he made tents. He was no less a world changer because he spent hours a day working with canvas or leather or waterproof skins. Paul was no less chosen by God and used for His purpose.
Paul’s calling produced about half of the books in the New Testament—written by the same man who worked in the marketplace during the day. Don’t ever let anyone try to convince you that because you have a career, you’re not doing the work of God! The same hands that crafted tents also penned Scripture passages like “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
“We walk by faith, not by sight” (I Corinthians 5:7, NKJV).
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, NKJV).
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be used of God in a career. “I’m a tentmaker; I’m an executive; I’m a chef; I’m a graphic designer; I’m a lineman; I’m an entrepreneur; I’m a sales professional; I’m in customer service.” No, that is not what you are. That’s what you do with your time. What you “are” is a minister in the kingdom of God! That career is simply where God has placed you to reach the broken, the lost, and the hurting of this world.
As the world grows ever darker, God is placing His people across every industry in one more attempt to reach the lost. Your job is your mission field. Your workplace is your harvest. Your career is your calling.
T’Neil Walea | IBM Global Government Chief of Technology Officer, Pearland, Texas.