What a Way to Make a Living

What a Way to Make a Living

Unfortunately, our culture splits Christians into two categories: those who are called to ministry and those who just work. Even when a pastor changes jobs to work in the marketplace, he or she is often considered to have “left the ministry.” What’s wrong with this picture?

Jesus called tax collectors, farmers, lawyers, priests, tentmakers, merchants, bankers, soldiers, and the CEO of a major fishing business in Galilee—not to quit their jobs—but to work on behalf of his kingdom. Jesus did not reject the vocation of these people; he redeemed it. By redeeming work, God transforms the 9-to-5 into a call to ministry!

By the time Jesus was twelve, Jesus was already an apprentice of father Joseph. Even his neighbors in Nazareth recognized him by his occupation. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?” (Mark 6:3). During his young adult years Jesus likely worked with other artisans, negotiating bids, buying supplies, and managing clients. If Jesus began his public ministry age 30 (Luke 3:23), he would have worked as a carpenter for 18 years. That’s six times longer than his 3-year public ministry!

Apparently, even at twelve years old, the young carpenter didn’t separate temple “ministry” from business. In Luke 2:29, Jesus told his parents: “I must be about my Father’s”—yep, Jesus stopped right there (i.e., “house” or “business” isn’t in the Greek text)! Wherever he was, whether in a religious building or at work, Jesus was about his Father’s (stuff)!

What if we were “about our Father’s stuff” at work? We’ll not only embrace the ministry of work, we’ll begin to recognize the Father’s activity at work and, by his grace, become spiritual leaders through work.

What a way to make a living!

Gloria Wiese, Minister for Discipleship