Let's try to guess which of these two men is doing more to expand the Kingdom of God.
We'll call the first guy Kevin. Kevin gets up every morning at 5:30 a.m. and gets ready for a long commute into his downtown office where he works in middle management in the banking industry. He works hard because he has a family to support: a wife, three kids and a dog.
Calvin is our second guy – "Pastor C," as the kids in youth group call him. Calvin's days working at an inner-city church are filled with mentoring young people, counseling them through their problems, and coming up with interesting ways to reach their hearts with the Word of God.
I think a lot of people would read those two short descriptions and automatically pick Calvin as the better "servant." I can see why – from what we read, Calvin's whole life is dedicated to his faith.
But think again.
As believers, we need to get past the mentality that the only way to serve God completely is to go into ministry.
Serving God isn't a race where those in full-time ministry get a head start. It's about being faithful to shine our light wherever it is God's called us to be. It's about knowing that, whether God has planted us in a ministry or a "secular" environment, we can be faithful witnesses to Him.
We need people to work in churches and para-church organizations like Focus on the Family and the local soup kitchen.
But we also need faithful Christians to lead in areas like medicine, academics, finance, media, and the creative arts. God bless the bold believers who live out their faith intentionally in these areas! God can use them to forge relationships and reach people who otherwise wouldn't darken the door of a church.
Breaking Down the "Sacred-Secular" Divide
A recent broadcast features a timely discussion on this "sacred-secular divide" featuring popular rapper and hip hop music artist Lecrae. This young man has taken the Christian world and the music industry by storm by breaking stereotypes and helping redeem a genre of music some had brushed aside as too "lost" to be of worth.
Lecrae's missional heart and evangelistic actions are proving that mindset wrong.
In a speech to students at Liberty University, Lecrae explains how important it is for us to break down the wall between "sacred" and "secular" and to become living representations of Christ in every aspect of our culture. He calls Christians to engage, love and rehabilitate the culture they're living in.
As Lecrae says in "Serving God in Our Culture,"
"We've taken things and we've deemed them as evil, when it's really just the hearts of men that have made these things seem like they're evil.
"Your job in the real world does not necessarily have to be bad. How are you going to have a redeemed heart and enter into that field and redeem and rehabilitate the culture around you? That's the challenge. That's the struggle.
"And so, how does it look? Well, this is what Genesis tells you. He says, 'Be fruitful and multiply.' Have families. Build churches; build schools.
"So, redeem things. If you want to really practice this, you have to engage people, engage culture. You have to love people, love culture. And you have to rehabilitate. And in terms of engaging … this is loving the people around you."
When we embrace this line of thinking, I believe it infuses our lives with a greater sense of purpose, and it opens our eyes to see ministry possibilities where they previously didn't exist.
This article originally appeared on focusonthefamily.com.