For the last 600 years, the Church has really done a poor job of understanding the biblical basis of work. And in that, when Christians think of a “calling,” it is still understood in the context of, “Am I called to be a missionary? …Am I called to be a pastor?” On the notion of “calling,” people don’t really think about am I called to be a doctor or a lawyer.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
A viable interpretation of Genesis 2:15 is that we are called to work to glorify God and to serve others. If so, it would follow that this notion of calling is for all vocations—whether it’s as a homemaker or working outside the home. It’s not relegated just to the Church.
I grew up in that mindset that the holy people become pastors or missionaries and that everyone else is over here. So still today we recognize here in the U.S., the 2%—the paid professional pastors—are preaching to the 98%—the congregation—that have never been in the trained profession of being a paid clergy.
Subsequently, virtually the entire congregation fails to understand how they are called to be effective where they have been planted. And if believers do not see their own calling, how can they offer that perspective to their unbelieving co-workers?
On the other hand, when each of us begins to see that God has called us into our specific vocations and places of work, then we will stand out as different. We won’t live differently on Sunday than we do Monday through Friday. Tantamount, the people with whom we interact at work will be attracted to what we have to offer. The relationships that emerge because we are working together take on eternal significance. And we will become ministers in our workplaces; we will truly be a part of a royal priesthood…
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
So I believe it is God’s intention that we are ALL called—not just pastors and missionaries. And the challenge each of us has is rising to the level of our calling. When we strive toward this end, there is no sacred/secular divide. Indeed the reality is everything is sacred.
I would like for the Telos community to really understand biblically this notion of the sacred vs. the secular is a divide that we have falsely created. We’re all priests and we are all saints to expand the Kingdom of God.
What is your calling? In what ways have you compartmentalized your Sunday life from the workweek? What can you do to begin living out your calling at work and through your work?