Our church just finished a book series this past Sunday, so that means that our Sunday school was about this final chapter. We were talking about the “cage of fear” that can stop us from doing things that we feel called by God to do. I was privileged enough to be able to sit in on this Sunday School class, not as the teacher, just as an adult who wants to continue to invest in the youth as often as I can. We talked about life, dreams, jobs, and our bucket lists.
Side note: one of the things on a middle schooler’s bucket list was “to visit every continent except Africa and South America.” He didn’t explain why he wanted to go to Antarctica but not Africa or South America, but it was one of the funniest things I’d ever heard. Humor is all about delivery, after all.
The main portion of the class ended up talking about what jobs the kids wanted to do in the future. At one point the youth were asked “how does this job serve God?” This is a valid question, and one that could be gotten from the book we were studying, but I think it is inherently wrong. The assumption the youth were hearing was that if the job isn’t in the church, then they certainly had better be donating a bunch of money to the church for “ministry” to happen. This is a huge mindset problem that American Christianity holds to.
Let’s be clear, there are countless people that feel called into full-time ministry as a vocation. There are also people that feel called into working for major corporations, as teachers, mechanics, bankers, small-business owners, and various other vocations and then are told by God to make major contributions to the church.
BUT, the church for many years has perpetuated the idea that the only way you can be involved in ministry if you aren’t on a pastoral staff is to make donations to the church. Wrong, wrong, wrong! When you read through the Bible you see that God calls and uses a multitude of various people to accomplish His works on the world. God uses shepherds, kings, queens, cup-bearers, musicians, tax collectors, fishermen, tent makers, warriors, drunks, and even prostitutes (though the message is not to become a prostitute, but that God can use anyone in any vocation).
We need bankers, lawyers, bakers, chefs, taxi drivers, firefighters, mechanics, fast food workers, and all the workers to continue to allow society to function (we need some more than others, but all are beneficial). God will call you to work and live into your passions. And whatever you do for a living, wherever you work, God will use that opportunity to accomplish His works in the world.
What is God calling you to do? Who is He calling you to become?