I’ve been thinking too much of late about Church and everyday life…
Many people come to Church, but the question remains how does this help me in my every day life as I seek to follow Jesus?
Or is Church just something I attend out of a duty because I’m a Christian and feel like I ought to?
I said yesterday when meeting with someone we only ever seem to pray for teachers and nurses in Churches, when was the last time we prayed for a caretaker, a computer programmer, a plumber, a solicitor?
When I worked for a Church as a Youth Worker, there were two types of Churchy Youth Workers (youth workers are often very pretentious!!) and they would say things like I am a CHRISTIAN Youth Worker -in other words they saw role as about evangelism and discipleship- as others would say “I’m a YOUTH WORKER who is a Christian” in other words they saw their role as much more about pastoral care of young people, support, mentoring, informal education etc.
As I thought about this, I thought this is very silly. God is interested in the whole person, I believe God is as passionate about youth workers doing Bible studies with young people as he is with youth workers sitting with young people outside a court room.
Yet worse that this is that sometimes the fall for the “sacred and secular” myth. Our faith isn’t something we feel we can leave out because it is at the heart of who you are.
Our Christian values, the presence of Christ in us by his Holy Spirit, the love that shines from us, the way we treat clients/customers/colleagues is all a witness to some degree to him, our whole lives reflect him in us, after all it is “Christ in us the hope of glory” or as Paul writes: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.
I remember speaking to a woman who was working out the last few weeks of her job, and they hadn’t treated her very well, and yet she said she wasn’t slacking off and was working to the same high quality as when she had started, I remember thinking “Wow, what a amazing witness”.
I want to get her to share her testimony in Church, great story and example…
How does being part of a Church community help us serve Christ better at work?
Do our colleagues notice that we are different because of Christ?
Do we think that there are areas of our life that God isn’t interested in? I don’t think that there is any area of the human life that God doesn’t passionate care about because he loves us.
I believe that he calls people to work in organisations not just in Churches.
I believe he calls people to live in areas.
I believe he sets us on frontlines with people we meet and interact with everyday.
I believe God is as passionate about our friendships with people from the pub quiz as he is about our friendships with people from the Bible study.
I often think we need to look at our lives afresh, seeing all of it as valueable service to the King of Kings.
How often does your Church leader talk to you and ask about what you do at work rather than ask you to do something for them at Church? I know I get this wrong all the time!
Do we ever ask people in our Churches, is there anything that would help you be a good mum or dad?
how can we as Church help you care for a grandparent with dementia?
How as Church can we help you be a better husband or wife?
What does it mean to be a good neighbour?
How can we be a good boss?
How can we serve a boss well (especially if s/he is horrible!)
As I was thinking about how as Christians we can support people in the work place I was thinking about the wierdness of our views on work… We probably would be funny about a Christian who was bookie and yet someone who works in the arms industry probably no one would bat an eyelid at?
What do people do when they feel their faith and their work requirements clash?
Are their some jobs which Christians shouldn’t do?
As I ask these questions, I realize that we need to discover afresh what it means to be a follower of Jesus not just for an hour on a Sunday but letting him be Lord of every hour of every day?
I’m trying to be different and embrace a concept of whole life discipleship, yet lets work out how to do this together, as community, loving and valuing each other?