Category Archives: bless your pastor

Just Don’t Hate My Church

That was some of the greatest advice I had ever received.

I’d like to let you in on a not-so-secret reality about the church. Churches, pastors, and church leaders make decisions that often bother, frustrate, or offend people within those churches. Some of these decisions are mistakes that offend people, others are right decisions that offend people because they have a different vision, hope, or plan for the church than those who lead it.

I have made decisions that have been wrong and made mistakes that have hurt people, offended people, and angered people. I’ve also made decisions, said things that were right and God-glorifying that have angered people, upset them.

This usually results in bitterness toward the church or leadership within people in the congregation. Often this bitterness never gets addressed, the frustrations never brought up, and eventually people leave their congregation having never explained why or even healed from their hurt, anger, or bitterness. It doesn’t have to be this way.

You see, I was one of these people who would get frustrated and at times bitter at my former church. It was the church I loved, told everyone about, but there were times when I disagreed with the decisions of the pastors and leaders. I questioned why, made assumptions (usually false) and let it grow into bitterness. There were other times I brought them up to the leadership and it did not always change the decision, but it gave me an opportunity to get over my frustration through seeking understanding.

One of those times, I sat with one of the pastors who had listened to my frustrations, explained things I was falsely assuming and was unaware of and then he said, “Logan, I’m not asking you to agree with everything our church does, to sign off on every decision, but just don’t hate my church.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear. I am, by nature, someone who sees more flaws than he sees beauty, identifying the holes and skipping over the great things. But my main error is that I am not doing this out of love, I often do this out of pride and frustration.

These words continue to challenge me today. I’m now a pastor at a church and I’m the one usually upsetting or offending someone despite my lack of intent to do so. I still see things that are not done well, but I have learned to take these to God through prayer, asking Him to give me a love for the ministry, person, or decision I think needs to be addressed. It has changed my demeanor in addressing decisions, it has lessened my frustration, it has let me avoid the darkness of bitterness and it has given me hope for a better future.

What should you do when you disagree?

Being on the pastor side of things, I would encourage people who disagree, or are offended or frustrated by their church, pastor, ministry leader to address the things, decisions, words that have brought the hurt. But I want to encourage you in the how.

First, Pray. Our emotions are often God’s way of calling us to spend time with Him. I mean look at the Psalms, the writers are an emotional wreck. This gives us the opportunity to reflect on the why of the emotion. Is there something in me that God is revealing? A false idea, a wrong belief, a personal preference that isn’t like Jesus?

Is there something in the church/leader that God is showing me to improve the church/leader’s ability to minister and love others? My encouragement would be to talk to God in prayer in readiness that it could be you that needs to change and also readiness that God could use you, in love, to change your church. I am convinced though, that God rarely uses people who do not pursue change in love.

Second, Seek Understanding. Email the pastor, ministry leader, or the person who is directly tied to the emotions you are feeling. I’ve discovered that when I share my frustrations, anger, hurt feelings with friends and not the person, I only multiplied bitterness causing more frustration and was left with the same feelings and no healing.

Only when you address your thoughts and emotions with someone who was involved in the cause can that help you understand, help you process, help you pursue healing.

In some cases, this may not be possible to meet with the person directly but there are likely people you can sit with that have greater ability to point out where you might be misunderstanding than your friends could. In these cases, I would encourage you to pursue a leader or someone who will point out your errors in thinking.

In seeking understanding, I would encourage you to come with more questions than statements. That provides an opportunity for any of your false assumptions to be destroyed and grants the leadership an opportunity to explain without feeling the need to defend.

Be gracious toward any mistakes, showing that you recognize the gospel tells us we are all falling short of perfection, except for Jesus, and all in need of the saving grace of Jesus to change us.

Third, Pray. After you have met with the church or ministry leader to seek understanding, go back to God in prayer, asking God again to grow in you love for the leadership, to grow the leadership, to guard them from error, and pray for continued understanding and healing.

I am now at a place where I have been the bitter and frustrated person and I’ve met with the person who has been hurt by my thoughts, decisions, or what I said. It’s always humbling, always a little messy, but has always been good and I am always thankful to talk through it.

Most people feel bad sharing their thoughts or even asking further questions of leadership, but I am always quick to encourage them to share. The church is intended to be a family and it can get messy, but it cannot be a loving family with any root of bitterness. I love talking through any and all messiness in hopes to pursue a healing understanding.

Just Don’t Hate My Church.

And if you’re a pastor, church leader, or ministry leader, come to these discussions ready to listen, quick to apologize, slow to defend, and ready to share the why of your thought or decision.

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Pastors, do you really want lay leaders?

Last week I looked at how Christians can bless their pastor by living out the mission of the church at home, at work, and in service to the church. As I mentioned last week, I’ve never heard a pastor complain about someone desiring to be bi-vocational. To be faithful at their job, while also faithfully serving and assisting in accomplishing the mission of the church.

As I thought through those blogs, I also started thinking through whether ministries are structured and prepared for an influx of volunteers if, like I intended, people magically stumbled upon my blog and they were divinely enlightened to life-changing truth.

While I know many pastors who would love to have more volunteers, there are times it seems ministries aren’t planned or structured in the necessary way to accommodate various commitment levels.

How can pastors help volunteers & lay leaders get more involved? Here are 8 ways I think will help.

1. Affirm the bi-vocational mindset. Be the voice for the priesthood of all believers on a Sunday and beyond. It’s easy for the average church-goer to attend a Sunday service and not see a need because most churches are organized and planned for Sundays.

We need to be reminded and hear that our calling is to be the priesthood throughout the week in addition to helping on Sundays. And I don’t mean mere lip-service of voicing your belief in the scripture that affirms it, I mean backing it up by providing bi-vocational leaders an opportunity for high-level leadership if the Lord has gifted them and equipped them to do so.

Putting a bi-vocational leader in those positions will be the most effective way to convince volunteers that you truly do affirm this calling.

2. Understand the limitations. A bi-vocational leader spends 40 hours a week on something other than ministry. Understand that they may only be able to give 5 hours, but value those 5 hours. Even though there are limitations, don’t shy away from trusting people with responsibility. Consistently ask how they are doing and if they feel overwhelmed.

The limitations actually force you to raise up more lay leaders as opposed to hiring more staff.

3. Plan further ahead than you think. Things take longer when you choose to use bi-vocational leaders. If you haven’t planned for that, you’ll only be frustrated with us and our lack of speed. Most leaders want to be shown that a plan is in place to utilize them and provide them opportunities to contribute.

This will also help you answer all the questions that business minded volunteers typically ask.

4. Delegate and let people learn. It won’t be as “perfect” as you do it the first time, but eventually it will be what you need. You’ll never develop anyone if you do all the work.

5.  Explore various volunteer opportunities

Create Project Specific or Seasonal teams.  Do you have a busy Christmas season or summer schedule? Or are you working on developing a specific ministry for social justice or missions? You could create a team for each specific project or season that is able to work on things long-term allowing you to provide oversight and direction rather than building it all yourself.

Distinguish between short-term & ongoing commitments. Providing a short-term, a few hour commitments allow people to explore your ministry to get a better picture of what you really do. It’s a great entry point for people wanting to get involved.

The ongoing, long-term projects or commitments reveal you’d like them to focus deeply on one ministry instead of spreading themselves thin across 4 commitments.

6. Have a Leadership Path. This is something we just put together for college ministry, but it clearly showed the potential for growth and development within our ministry. Our leaders really responded well to that because it showed them they could commit long-term and wouldn’t have to move to another ministry for deeper responsibilities.

7. Identify training needs and provide ongoing development. What are the essentials theologically and practical needs for leading in your ministry? What are the most effective way to train people in knowledge and abilities necessary for your ministry? Can you get them up to speed within a month?

8. Ask. Personally invite them to be a part of your ministry. The announcement from stage on a Sunday can get people to sign-up, but a personal invitation often leads to greater commitment. And you’ll be surprised to find that many are waiting if only you’d ask.

Pastors, if you’re tired of being overworked, overextended, and making way too many family sacrifices, the long-term sustainable solution is to develop lay leaders and provide them real opportunities to bless you and the church in their service.

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Bless your pastor with your service

This my final post for the series on how to bless your pastor by taking on a bi-vocational mindset as a Christian who views their calling to work as a minister of the gospel both in the “secular” world and in serving a local body.

Humbly Submit to Serve in their ministry

It’s now time to not only change our mindset, but act upon it by volunteering to serve at your church. If you’re not sure exactly what ministry to try, just pick one and start serving. As you start serving and get a better understanding of what you really enjoy when it comes to ministry, you can transition out of your current serving opportunity into a new ministry. But unless you try to serve in ANY of the church’s ministries you’ll likely never discover other opportunities.

I’ve seen this all the time in our college ministry. People come to volunteer in the college ministry and serve faithfully, but then another ministry like Kidstuff starts to interest them. So they start volunteering there and realize that investing in kids is really where they have been gifted and enjoy. It’s always hard to lose a faithful volunteer in our ministry, but we have come to rejoice in the fact that we can build up other ministries in the church and that we’re developing people who will give their energy and time where their passion is.

What do you need to do to start serving?

1. Assess the time you can give. Plan your typical week, if you’re married do that with your wife, and evaluate how much time can you give to serve in a ministry. Are you only able to serve before or after a service? Do you have time mid-week that could be given to help administratively?

2. Be willing to help where needed, not only in areas that excite you. You might be needed in the most behind-the-scenes, thankless job of set-up and teardown or holding crying babies on a Sunday morning instead of in the cooler leadership development/discipleship position. But if the goal is to serve the church and be a blessing to your pastoral staff, the means is filling the needs first, learning to serve the church not your own ambitions.

3. Identify the ministries in your church. Do you know about the mercy ministries in your church? The efforts to reach your city or the nations for the gospel? Spend time figuring out the areas your church has to serve. There’s way more than you think, & when you find that out, you’ll realize that all of them need more people willing to serve with the time they have.

4. Ask your pastor where you’re needed and start serving. This should be easier than it is. Simply ask your pastor where the greatest need is and be willing to say yes. Start serving in that position to see if you really are gifted there and think through how you can help the pastor as the develop the ministry further.

How does this bless your pastor?

Freedom from firefighting. Having more leaders gives pastor’s more time. They no longer have to constantly put out “fires” and handle the next immediate need, but can focus on developing people and the ministry. This freedom blesses the pastor, but also blesses the church as a whole.

Less worries about finding leaders & volunteers. There are churches who have to turn people away because there’s not enough leaders to serve in the childcare on a Sunday. In our college ministry we’ve had 40-50 students who need to be mentored and invested in by 15-20 adult coaches, but are sometimes only able to find 10. For the pastor this means spending extra time and energy seeking out someone who is willing to fill the gap. How much greater would it be if Christians came to church to serve rather than to be served? Even sounds a bit like being like Jesus…

More Leaders provides for more and healthier growth. The bible indicates that churches that are built on the gospel and a commitment to biblical truth will grow, but this growth will either be impeded by the lack of leaders volunteering or benefit from a church-wide mentality that is selfless and seeks the benefit of the whole.   

Final Thought

You may be only able to give 5-10 hours a week to assist a ministry, but imagine if 10 people gave 5-10 hours a week. That’s 50-100 hours of assisting your church. You’ve freed them up from hiring more staff all while fulfilling the call God has placed on Christians to be a part of building up the body of Christ.

It’s time for Christians to seek to be a blessing to their pastors and their churches instead of just seeking to be blessed.

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Wrestle with and embrace your pastor’s vision

Continuing my thoughts on ways to Bless your pastor.

In my mind today’s post is likely the most important and best way to bless your pastor. The last 2 have been focused on making sure your priorities are straight. Home must be where you expend your energy and effort first and then God has specifically placed you for excellence at your job next, but Christians cannot hide behind either home or their job as an excuse for not investing in a local body of Christ, a local church.

We are called to faithfully participate in the mission of God and that is primarily seen through being a part of a local body. The only way to effectively get involved is by wrestling with and embracing your pastor’s vision.

From my own experience…

When our community pastor first unfolded a vision for shifting community groups to missional communities, I hated it and I pushed back. “We had spent 2 years in our community group and seen God do amazing things, why would I change?” was my thinking. I then had to decide whether I was going to be a dissenting voice among the congregation or seek to understand my pastor and the vision he had spent months discussing, debating, and praying through. I chose the latter and I am grateful for it. Here’s what I learned through the process.

1. I worship my own mind and thinking. I don’t need success to think that I’m right, but if I see even a little measure of success it creates in me a prideful mindset that declares that I’m the ONE that has it figured out and all should follow. It’s silly. I had to repent and try my best to actually BE humble instead of just look it.

2. There’s a reason he’s the pastor and I am not. If God wanted me to be the one laying out the vision and training others to accomplish it, He’s certainly powerful enough to put me in that situation, but He hasn’t. Will I form a mutiny against the man God has called to lead me or will I trust the Lord and follow him?

3. I have to ask a lot of questions and process semantic and philosophical differences. If you’re ever going to understand your pastor, ask a lot of questions. Also, your pastor is more willing to answer your questions if they know you are trying to be on board with their vision. They won’t know this by you saying it, they will know this by you serving in their church. There’s usually a plethora of service opportunities at a church (i.e. welcome team, usher, communion/tithe person, volunteer in the childcare).

Sometimes your differences are merely semantic or word-choice differences that we have each tied extended meaning to and we have to spend time processing so that our semantic differences don’t cause unnecessary strife.

4. My pastor is more open to my suggestions if I seek to understand him first. I’m no stranger to offering advice, I mean, hello I write on a blog…but I learned that until I had a pretty good understanding of my pastor’s vision and strategy, I wasn’t really able to offer any decent advice and he wasn’t really interested in hearing it. It was because the advice was uninformed and as it became more informed, my voice carried more weight.

5. There is freedom in submitting to your pastor’s vision and seeking to accomplish it. When you stop trying to create your own way that may or may not be against the pastor’s tide of thinking, there grows a freedom inside of you to just pursue accomplishing the mission. You are no longer bogged down by bitterness & frustration, you’re free to live out a godly vision. It’s refreshing.

How does this bless your pastor?

It affirms God’s call on their lives. Expressing your trust by seeking to understand them and accomplish it verifies the vision God has given them and encourages them to pursue it with more passion.

Increase their joy in fulfilling their vision. I’ve never met a pastor unwilling to discuss, expound, or repeat his vision for the church. It’s their calling and it brings them joy. That joy is increased when people back that vision.

The vision and mission actually start getting accomplished. A house divided against itself cannot stand, nor can it make it headway in accomplishing anything. When people unite around mission, great things can be accomplished and worship of Jesus tends to increase with it. It’s more exciting than in-house debating and gives greater joy to all involved.

One Final Thought

If you can’t get behind the vision your pastor has laid out for you and your church, go somewhere else. It’s not worth the bitterness, frustration, debates, and time wasted in your life and your pastor’s life. If you’ve tried to get a good understanding and still can’t get behind it, it’s obviously time to move on.

Any additional thoughts from my pastor friends or fellow volunteers at churches? Any comments or questions?

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Bless your pastor with your work

Continuing my thoughts on ways to bless your pastor. Other blogs here and here.

Your pastor is unable to be an engineer, a business consultant, a teacher, a stay-at-home parent, and all the other jobs that happen in your city. He can do his best on a Sunday to reach those various vocations, but his calling is to invest his time in establishing, leading, and building the church. You and I can bless our pastor by taking the gospel message of Jesus Christ, that “He died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that on the third day He rose again according to the scripture” as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:3, to all our workplaces to assist in building a church for Jesus in your city.

How can you be both excellent at your job AND care for your co-workers?

Go to work as a bi-vocational missionary

A biblical view of a Christian’s life can seem like they are in tension since they are called to be minister of the gospel while also being excellent at the “secular” job God has equipped them for and placed them in. It seems to me that employees are typically either excellent at getting things done OR excellent at being friends with co-workers, but the question is why can’t you be both? What would have to change for you to be a missionary at work in a way that blesses your pastor at your church?

1. View Jesus as Your Boss – Colossians 3:23-24 instructs Christians to work as if we are doing it for the Lord and not for man. You now have a boss that demands excellence, but is gracious in your failures, One who rejoices over you and delights in your efforts, someone who is a delight to work for because you are always valued in their eyes, always worth the sacrifice they make for you in their job as boss.

Now this might force you to deal with how you view God. Do you view him as a tyrant, angry with your failures? Because in Christ, He no longer condemns and His love never fails. Do you view God as someone who graciously lets you be lazy and sinful? Because in Christ, His spirit indwells you to fulfill all His commands.

He both delights in you despite your failures and equips you for the excellence He demands. That’s a pretty awesome boss.

2. Plan time for co-workers – If you’re a workaholic, focused on achieving the immediate task, you’ll either be annoyed that your co-workers talk so much or ignore them for the sake of your work.  You may have to come in early or take work home, but plan to just take time to care about your cube-mate. Ask them about their life more than your anxious to share about your own. And treat everyone from the receptionist to your boss with the same care and respect. That should be obvious, but I’ve noticed it isn’t and everyone else notices as well. Jesus seemed to care more about the least important than the most important, but for some reason we flip it.

2a. Remember when you received the gospel – The bible says we were helpless enemies of God when we received the gospel. If this is true, no co-worker should be “too annoying” or “too rude” to be cared about and the gospel asks us to love others as we have been loved.

3. Take a Sabbath – To make it obvious to others and to guard yourself against working defining your life, plan a day of rest away from work, your work phone, and your email. This shows your identity is found in God’s work and not your own.

4. Prioritize serving the church – If you have a commitment to the church that takes you away from work for an evening or a long lunch, plan to make it consistent and communicate with your boss why you do it. I’ve found the church involvement has helped me at work and work has helped be an effective leader at church. They are not at odds with one another.

And bring your mentality for excellence at work into your ministry at the church. It’s definitely needed.

How will this bless your pastor?

By helping them accomplish God’s mission – As I mentioned at the start, your pastor isn’t a superhero who can do every job in your city and build the church, bless him by partnering for expansion of the gospel.

Displaying for the church that a bi-vocational life can be done – Because we’re all cynical we can sometimes think the pastor doesn’t understand what we go through, that we have to spend 40, 50 or 60 hours a week at a job that isn’t focused on the church. Well, if you trust the Lord’s call to be bi-vocational you lessen the cynicism within your church and can assist in equipping others like you to do the same. Less cynicism and critiques in the church will definitively bless your pastor.

Feel free to disagree or to add your thoughts and comments or add to something I may have missed.

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Bless your pastor with your home

Last I week, I posted a blog titled “Want to bless your pastor?” and listed 4 practical ways you could do that and this week I’m hoping to expand on each of those 4 practical ways. The 4 ways I listed (obviously not comprehensive) were 1) Treat your home as a mini-church, 2) Go to work as a missionary, 3) Wrestle with and Embrace your pastor’s vision, 4) Humbly submit to serve in their ministry.

My hope is to provide practical advice on how to accomplish them and also how it can bless your pastor and your church.

Treat Your Home as a Mini-Church

Christian culture has centered itself around a Sunday gathering for centuries and somewhere along the way we began compartmentalizing our Christian lives by making Sunday really special, the only place where worship occurs, even utilizing at as THE ONE place of learning from the Bible through listening to a sermon.

This has resulted in the hypocritical living Christianity has grown to be known by in the world. That we love to look good on a Sunday, but don’t enjoy living it out Monday thru Saturday. Jesus and the scriptures clearly taught an entire way of life centered and ordered around faith lived out through love and obedience, but the question is how can this really be lived out if we’re only being spiritual for 2-3 hours on a Sunday or 30-minute at the drive thru church in Waco…

I believe the answer is transforming our home into a mini-church. A place where worship, living in the community of fellow believers, learning from the Word of God, prayer, and welcoming those who don’t believe that same things as you occur regularly.  When Paul writes to Timothy he says only choose leaders who can lead their families as a mini-church well to lead the larger church (1 Timothy 3). It seems our home-life is the primary indicator of how well we are truly believing the gospel and faithfully obeying it.

Our home is where we spend most of our week, but it is often the place where we are laziest and most selfish. It becomes a retreat from the world into our own pleasures instead of a place where the gospel can be clearly lived out.

So what are the things we enjoy about a Sunday and how can they be brought into our mini-church?

1.       Worship thru song and prayer – Every church you go to spends at least half the time singing and songs tend to be a great expression of our thoughts, prayers, and emotions toward God. They don’t have to be left at church, as anyone with a CD player, DVD player, computer or iPod/iPhone can listen to the music at their home. Maybe instead of the TV being on 24/7 you let your house be filled with worship music and if you’re really crazy you can sing along…

What about prayer? Is prayer something that only occurs at meals? You can set aside specific times and topics to pray for by developing a prayer calendar. Sometimes a little planning is all it takes to transform your home into a church.

Sidenote: If you have kids, learn from the kid’s ministry at your church. Let worship be fun with motions and dancing, read your kids stories at mealtime, and let them see your spiritual life.

2.       Living in Community with Believers – One of my favorite aspects of church is seeing fellow believers who I love and have become my family, but why wait until Sunday? Everyone eats dinner, so why not invite your fellow believers into your meal times and let your home and dinner table become a place of meaningful conversation over the meaning of a passage of scripture, over the joys and sorrows of life, and simply enjoying each other’s companies.

We have a group that meets each week at our home and we eat dinner together.  It’s some of the sweetest times in our weeks as we catch up, debate and discuss the meanings of scripture and learn from each other. I love it and it helps me to believe in Jesus and live for Him.

This can also be a time where communion can be taken together as a family of faith (obviously my Catholic friends would disagree, but that’s a whole other discussion for another day).

3.       Welcoming people of other or no faith – For too long, Christians have viewed a Sunday service as the place where missions happens, but when you bring someone who believes differently from you to church you have to convert them twice. Once to Christianity and then once to your church’s style. And besides, this only gives you one chance a week to explain Christianity to someone. It’s incredibly difficult for someone to comprehend an entire belief system in 3 hours.

Your home is better than a church since it can be a more welcoming and open environment to make friends with your neighbors and anyone who doesn’t believe as you do. Again, everyone eats so why not invite your neighbors into a meal and let them into your life and discuss the same things with them as you would with believers.

How will this bless your pastor?

Removing Undue Burden – When we view Sunday as our primary means of spiritual activity, we put undue burden on our pastors by relying on them for our spiritual lives. We then have the tendency to become dependent on the pastor’s spiritual life rather than on Jesus and the bible.  They have been tasked with equipping us for ministry, but often we just ask them to DO ministry to and for us on a Sunday.

Partnering Gives Them Joy – If our homes were mini-churches, we would bless them by reducing undue burden, but also by giving them joy as we partner with them for the mission of Jesus and the church to each other and the world.

What else have you done to help your home become a mini-church? How else do you think this blesses your pastor?

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Want to Bless your Pastor?

In the past I’ve heard and been a part of a few gatherings of people with the mind to bless their pastor and thank them for their service in the church. I’ve thought about this a lot lately and here are some of the things bouncing around in my head.

These blessings usually center around dinners, gifts, vacations, etc., which I’m sure pastors love to receive and feel blessed by, but as I’ve talked to and listened to a number of pastors, I find one of the biggest blessings you could give to your pastor has nothing to do with something you could purchase for them.

If you truly want to bless your pastor, accept and embrace the call on all Christians to have a bi-vocational mindset. By bi-vocational, I mean have the mindset that you as a teacher, business man, lawyer, website designer or engineer/nerd have also been called into full-time ministry. Lest you think me a crazy heretic, scripture clearly indicates the priesthood of all believers in 1 Peter 2 with the implication that your full-time pastor is merely the one who is paid by the church to do ministry, meanwhile you get paid by your company to do full-time ministry.

What do you mean full-time ministry?

In Ephesians 4, Paul discusses the role of the leaders of the church is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry”, so their full-time ministry is equipping you so that Monday-Saturday you can faithfully live as a Christian at home, in your workplace, in your neighborhood, and serving in the church.

No longer can we say “I’m a Christian” and that only mean “I attend church on Sunday”. Now “I’m a Christian” means I live in all areas of my life as a full-time minister seeking to proclaim the gospel through my words and back it up with my life.

I don’t mean neglect your job and only do ministry. I mean do your job excellently as a work for the Lord and care for your co-workers.

How should I try to live this out if I’m a Christian?

Here are 4 ways you could live this out

  1. Treat your home as a mini-church – Enjoy going to church on Sundays? Interacting with other Christians and worshipping? What’s stopping you from making your home a place a spiritual refreshment?
  2. Go to work as a missionary – A right vocational theology sees Jesus as your ultimate and the greatest boss you could have. Your workplace can be a place of joy by seeking to be excellent at your job while also seeking to care about your co-workers. Both should happen simultaneously and the results should be that the gospel is displayed in 100s of workplaces throughout the week, not in 1 building on a Sunday.
  3. Wrestle with and embrace your pastor’s vision – Christians have embraced an individualism that has allowed us to pick and choose what we like of what our church offers. If this is a Christian’s mentality, they are the opposite of a blessing to their church. Instead seek to understand your pastor’s vision and strategy so that you can embrace it as your own. I’m not saying you never disagree, but seek to help fulfill the church’s vision, not just your own. Then your church will have 100s of pastors instead of a handful.
  4. Humbly submit to serve in their ministry – Ask them where you could be used to fulfill their vision and be willing to work behind the scenes for the gospel to be proclaimed publicly. This takes more humility than you currently think you have and working behind the scenes is actually the best way to build that humility.

I’ve never heard a pastor complain about people being willing to serve faithfully to fulfill their vision. It’s not only a blessing to your pastor, but it’s what must happen if the church in America is ever to survive. The church needs Christians to embrace their biblical call from God to be bi-vocational whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a lawyer, teacher, or an engineer.

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