Can you spot the bivocational minister?
Whether you are a pastor who works full-time outside the church to support yourself and your family or not, this is a good verse for all of us:
For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God’s grace. – 2 Cor 1:12
Paul’s confidence was that his life was uniform; cohesive. Whether he was dealing in tent-making, preaching in the synagogues, engaging philosophers in the public places, or laboring in the church to build up believers–in every area he worked, he relied on the Lord to empower him to live a godly example. Let’s apply this to you and me today.
How do you answer the phone at work? How do you respond to obstacles? Do coworkers see a “Welcome” mat at your door, even if there’s not one there physically? Or does your body language tell people to go away, you have more important things to do? And, most importantly, do people know you are a Christian?
This past weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to worship as vacationing visitors at a small Southern Baptist church about 100 miles from home. The guest preacher, who was also the Director of Missions for the local association, made the point that,
“The privilege of knowing Christ comes with the responsibility of making Him known.“
Think about that. “The privilege of knowing Christ comes with the responsibility of making Him known.” And then he followed it up with a question. “Are we taking this responsibility seriously?”
Indeed. Am I? Are you?
By the way, did you spot the bivocational minister in the picture? It’s a trick question, really. If they’re Christians, they all are. God has given all believers the ministry of reconciling people to God (2 Cor 5:18-21). In that sense, we’re all “bivocational ministers,” called to make Jesus known among the nations. The question then is: Does the world (and let’s not forget those in our own church!) see us living like one?
It would be in poor taste and disrespectful to our employers, and to God, to be preaching and teaching on company time. Save that for breaks and lunches, as you are able to at your particular workplace. Use wisdom. Be sensitive. Strive to have a good testimony at your job. Follow Paul’s example and strive to make God known in your life through your words, attitudes, and actions, empowered by God’s grace, doing it all for His glory.