Well, this is a switch, I thought, peeling another sticker off the roll of barcodes and slapping it onto a used flowerpot. Had it really only been a month ago that I was improvising kids’ ministry under an avocado tree in Uganda? Or painting a palm tree mural on the walls of the orphanage? Or illustrating Bible narratives with animal balloons at village Sunday schools?
Standing behind the cash register at the quiet greenhouse, pricing pots while I waited for another customer, Uganda felt like a lifetime ago.
I know this is the place for me to be right now, I thought, saving funds so I can start college, earn a degree, and gain qualifications for a career in ministry. So, if this is where God wants me to be, I’m technically serving Him—just like in Uganda. But I don’t really feel like it.
I stuck a barcode on another pot.
How do you approach your job as ministry, no matter what God has you doing? That’s what I asked myself at the greenhouse, where I continued to work summer after summer until after college. It’s also what I’ve been asking other Christians from diverse career fields lately.
Based on their insights, my own observations, and some hints from Scripture, here are 7 ideas for how we as Christians can recognize our occupations as ministries:
1. Remember Whose You Are
Whether potting planters at the greenhouse or pushing a pencil at college, I could view whatever occupation God placed me in as ministry because I knew my life belonged to Him.
When we give our lives to Jesus, we don’t just give Him our Sunday morning selves; we give Him every aspect of our existence—including our occupations.
He wholly redeemed us, and we’re wholly His. That means everything we are belongs to Him, and everything we do, we do for Him. Like Paul encouraged believers in Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving—but only if you’re in fulltime ministry.”
Wait a second. That’s not how the passage ends! Paul didn’t suggest that only people with “ministry careers” are serving God; He said whatever you do is serving God. For Christians, then, serving God and others through any occupation He places us in is, at the core, ministry.
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SOURCE: Crosswalk, Patricia Engler