Viewing Every Aspect of Life as Ministry
The act of disciple-making is the calling of every follower of Jesus. So do not make the mistake of thinking that if you are seminary trained or a leader in the church that you are serving God more faithfully than the stay at home mom, barista, bartender, or salesperson from your church. Each of us in Christ is called to live a life on mission that is about the business of disciple-making.
Jeff Vanderstelt summed this up to the church he pastors by telling everyone at his church that they are paid full-time by their company in order to be a full-time minister at their job. By returning to this New Testament practice the people that make up the church will stop seeing the Sunday gathering as the primary connecting point for those outside the church, but as a way to connect with people in their rhythm of life. This allows one to naturally build community with the insiders of the culture, allowing them to express freedom (gospel) in a contextually appropriate manner.
We look around and wonder with all of the church planting efforts available today, why 250 million people are still not connected to a church family, 43,000 leave weekly, and 35% of those 15-30 years old have no interest in any form of spirituality at all. A large reason for this is the divide between the professional/laity Christian. If we take a look back at early Christianity, we are reminded that they experienced explosive growth in large part by means of informal missionaries engaging the culture. Think early church. Think America in the 1700’s. Think of most of the church planting movements we are seeing globally today.
There are numerous examples of seeing people embrace their everyday life as ministry seeing themselves as missionaries, but a couple of examples come to mind. In 1 Thessalonians 1 we see that the Thessalonians had so implemented gospel sharing and disciple-making into their everyday life that the Scriptures record it had gone forth everywhere around them and that there was no need for the Apostle Paul to go back behind them to these places.
In Acts 11:19-30 we see that it was unnamed believers who the took gospel to Antioch. These believers were simply living out their faith in midst of their daily existence. I love that Scripture includes pieces of information like that for us and I encourage you to start viewing every aspect of your life as ministry, as the mission field where God has placed you to proclaim his glory.