“One day, I’ll go into ministry,” I told myself, “I’ll hang in coffee shops and help people with their problems. I’ll dress like a hipster, start a blog, and truly have the authority to help others. I’ll really be able to do the work of the Lord!”
I shared this idea with friends who informed me I didn’t have to be a Pastor to minister to people.
I meant REAL ministry…You know, stuff Jesus did. I wanted to care for others by serving the less fortunate and loving those who are different from me. I longed to do this every day, not just on Sunday or during local outreach ministry. I wanted to be sent to minister to people where the battlefield is infested with spiritual warfare. A place where lies, backstabbing, gossip & darkness prevailed, a place where missionaries are truly needed.
I didn’t know it then, but I was already there.
By taking a step back, it’s actually easy to see why our job environment could rival Real Housewives of (insert city) in the drama category. The combination of deadlines, stress, project collaboration, plain proximity of work space, and countless hours of time spent together creates ingredients for a potential perfect storm. But who has time for all that work drama?
But what if God had a plan and I was where He wanted me to be? What if the daily interactions I had, whether great or tough, were all part of His big picture?
I recently had coffee with my good friend and mentor. I wanted to figure out God’s plan for my life. “God’s plan for your life right now is where He has you RIGHT NOW,” he said. Of course God has a plan, and I’m placing limits on His work if don’t think that God has me right where He wants me.
God is very intentional with where he places us.
I see this on a daily basis with my boss, a former Youth Pastor himself. He feels as if God has called him into the secular workplace to minister to others. Of course, he has responsibilities of running a business, but moments in-between are where he does his Kingdom work. He doesn’t get out his Bible and preach or condemn, but just the opposite. He listens, loves unconditionally, serves, leads by example, and prays for all of his interactions. Non-believers have shown interest in Christ just because they sense something different and want to know more.
This is ministry.
As Christians, this is what we are ALL called to do.
So what does ministry look like in the secular workplace?
Work with enthusiasm. While the Greek origin of the word means “inspired by a god,” it actually goes much deeper than that. In Ephesians 6:7, Paul tells us to, “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.” During this time, Paul was writing to the church of Ephesus and he was in prison, So while Paul was on lock down in a dirty, depressing jail cell (this could feel like your work environment) he still was enthusiastic about the good news of Jesus and wanted to share it a with a burning desire for all to hear.
Lead By Example. Be a servant leader. Jesus didn’t tell people to go and wash feet, he showed them how. Jesus didn’t tell people he would pray for them and then walk away, he did it right then and there. I love the state, “Preach the gospel. If you have to, use words.”
PRAY. For your boss, for your colleagues, for your clients/customers, and for your company. Be intentional and ask people if you pray for them. Prayer truly changes things.
Focusing on ministry isn’t just for Sundays, Missions Trips, or Pastors.
It’s a daily responsibility for ALL Christians, of ALL ages.
With a passion for outreach and gospel justice, Nick has worked with non-profits & ministries in the Raleigh area since the mid 90′s. His most recent non-profit work was with Help One Now, a global non-profit rescuing orphans & implementing holistic & sustainable community development work in Haiti & Africa. He now works at Life Time Fitness as the Area Lead for Kids Activities in the Southeast & Florida Regions. Nick is also an actor, and has worked on local/regional/national films, commercials and various productions. He graduated from East Carolina University, where he was a 4-year starter and Captain of the soccer team. Nick & his wife Maureen serve at Journey Church, where they lead the large group teaching for grades K-5. They have a blended family of 6 awesome children. You can follow Nick on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, or check out his website at nickerrato.com