“I just wish I didn’t have to work so much so I could have more time for ministry.” It’s a noble thought, but for most people, i.e., those not called into the full-time ministry, it is misguided. If you are not called to the full-time ministry your need to understand how your job is integral to the kingdom of God.
Your job is not justified merely by how many people you reach for Jesus. Your job is integral to the kingdom of God for a more fundamental, but perhaps less obvious reason than that.
The kingdom of God, like most earthly kingdoms, is concerned about two things: 1) managing territory already under its jurisdiction; and 2) expanding its borders. In discussing the kingdom of God it’s easy to skip over the first and focus only on the second. In fact, I suspect most Christians have never considered the importance of managing earthly territory for the kingdom of God. We tend to justify everything in light of heaven.
Here’s how I conceptualize it. Every Christian has people, places and things over which they have earthly responsibility. This I call a “measure of rule.” I didn’t make it up. If you look in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, you will find he makes a reference to this concept. (2 Cor. 10:13-16). Think of your measure of rule like a garden, a patch of the earth for which God has assigned you the gardner.
Now, if you are a Christian and you manage your garden under the delegated authority of King Jesus, your measure of rule becomes Kingdom territory. Your garden, so to speak, comes under the rule of Jesus because you are under the rule of Jesus. That doesn’t mean you should abuse your employer’s time sharing the gospel or reading your Bible. It does mean you should execute your job responsibilities excellently and ethically. Your employer is paying you to work, not evangelize, and that is ok because Jesus wants the earth managed well. After all, it belongs to Him. (Psalm 24:1).
So, if you are a Christian teacher, salesperson, secretary, architect, maintenance man, social worker, doctor or lawyer, your job is a means to managing the earth for the kingdom of God. You can stop feeling like you are a second class citizen in the Kingdom just because you are not in the full-time ministry. If you are a Christian, exercising your job responsibilities ethically and excellently in obedience to King Jesus, you are managing territory for the kingdom of God. GS