Shearing, round the flank

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Col 3:23 (ESV)

At Cornerstone Worship Center, we are constantly seeking to encourage people that they are all “sent ones” – every single one of us is, because of Jesus, salt and light in the world. We are ambassadors of Christ, wherever we go and whatever our endeavors. Yet there is still often a divide in people’s minds between the sacred and the secular. “Real ministry” means being pastor, or worship leader, or a monk or something über-spiritual. Everyone else has a “normal” job to support the “spiritual” jobs. If you haven’t guessed by my excessive use of quotation marks, I think this separation is a load of bunk. It just isn’t Biblical. Sure, there are specific functions within the Church, and those functions are fulfilled sometimes by designated individuals, and sometimes through random members of the body. But I would maintain that the pastor of a local church is about work no more spiritual than the dude working for the electrical company, or the woman who chooses to stay home and raise her children. Each of those people is an instrument of God, and capable of either faithful service or selfish behavior that does not show the Gospel to people. Vocation, as a Christian ideal, must sit at a level above the mere task at hand, and is instead rooted much deeper in our identity, informing the manner of the task at hand rather than defining the specific actions of the task at hand.

There is plenty of dialogue about this idea of vocation, from contemporary back to Calvin and Luther and beyond. The idea for this series came about from an email with a dear friend in the UK. I was curious about how his faith impacts his work in the design industry, and his business practices. And then I decided I knew several people who would have different experiences of vocation and thought a series of interviews might help put some practical meat on the theoretical skeleton of this idea of vocation in the life of the Christian.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll feature one interview a week and highlight the work these individuals are involved in as we go. At the end, we’ll reflect on what has been learned from the various perspectives. My hope is that throughout you will be encouraged to see the work set before you today as your mission field. Your neighborhood, your colleagues, your schools, your families – they are all in need of Jesus and the redemptive, restorative work of the Gospel.

Join us tomorrow for the first interview with a rad web designer from the UK.