Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Have a Normal Job?

I wanted to give you a short post about an initiative that we have been working as a part of the Upstream Collective.

Somehow, intentionally or not, many American Christians were taught that being a professional missionary is a higher calling, the best and most appropriate way to respond to a call to missions. But the Skybridge Community would propose that being a full-time Christian worker is not the only way to be an effective missionary.

In fact, in some circles, particularly in Europe, the best way to be a missionary is NOT to be a "missionary." The most effective way many people can make an impact on their friends in Europe is by entering the culture as "one of the gang" - someone facing similar work and life situations as their peers. That's where having a normal job comes in.

It's time to elevate and validate the calling of these unpaid missionaries who take seriously their responsibility to live out their faith incarnationally overseas. It's also time for the local church to step up and take back its role in the Great Commission, sending out its best and brightest to live and work abroad, getting more personally involved in God's work through prayer, being present on the field both short- and long-term, and learning how to take good care of their newly commissioned business executives, students, waiters, graphic designers ... you get the picture.

That's what the Skybridge Community is for: networking, encouraging and equipping these "secular" workers who see their part in the Great Commission as being as valid as any commissioned missionary - and helping them, in turn, to equip their local church body to play its part in global missions as well.


Patricia Hickman said...

3 John does give a clear mandate for supporting Christian workers abroad. But the passion and creativity spinning out of the spiritual collectives is a beautiful thing to watch.
Church Planter's Wife
Charlotte, NC
Stonehill Community Church

Chris Sinclair said...

The whole idea of a "platform", as long as it is used in missy language, will limit any legitimate claims one might have towards his friends in a credible way. this hurts witness more than we think our limited platform investment thinks it's freeing us up to 'do the real thing'. a true platform is no platform, but living alongside people in a naturally and integrated way with the ebb and flow of daily life. good post...

Larry said...

Chris, Thanks for your comment. I think you make a great point about this. We want to "let our light" shine naturally as we live our life.
Our neighbors, co-workers and anyone we connect with will see that something is different. Thanks.

Larry said...

Patricia, a friend just wrote a post on about how the local church can "support" a worker such as this. Hope you can check it out. Look under the skybridge blog section. Thanks for your note.