But that’s probably not what you have been told.
According to some Christian leaders, you are not really serving God unless you do what they do: preach. Although not suggesting you aspire to their place on the platform, the idea is that you should preach the gospel - to any person in any situation – regardless of how contrived, ill timed or placed it might be. While obviously well intended it is generally misguided advice.
The result is a lot of Christians awkwardly shoehorning the gospel in unsuccessfully to uninterested people. The consequence is often both parties walking away with bad stereotypes reinforced. The Christians walk away wrongly believing that “most people are not interested in knowing God.” The other party walks away believing that Christians are disingenuous, and our faith unnatural and not integrated into our lives.
These two outcomes are unnecessary and generally result from Christians living under a wrong pressure to preach the gospel. Please allow me as a career minister, and someone who loves to preach, to set you free to be who God has created you to be. The last thing God wants you to do is preach.
Yes, you read that correctly – the last thing God wants you to do is preach.
If you are a marketplace professional, business owner, tradesman, or stay at home mom, it is not your primary job to preach the gospel. Your job is to succeed in your career with excellence and love your life so much that people are drawn to your excellence and exuberance. When they can no longer refrain from asking about your secret to life, then preach the gospel.
Jesus came to give you a life to live, not just...
I am often asked about the will of God and how to fulfill it. My answer is usually fairly simple – God’s purpose is you succeeding with your gifts in the world and His focus is empowering you to do that.
That may sound different than what you’ve been taught and potentially selfish or humanistic. It contradicts the idea that individual success should be sacrificed for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. That idea presupposes that strong organizational churches are key to transforming the world.
Strong churches are wonderful, but not if their success requires large numbers of individuals to withdraw from the world. God created us to transform the world from within it, so we have to be in it for transformation to come.
When God created humanity, He empowered us for the express purpose of succeeding on the earth. Us succeeding on the earth and serving others with that success is our God given purpose. Therefore, becoming who God created you to be in the world is fulfilling His will.
Our careers and communities are largely where we fulfill our calling on the earth. Thus, it is imperative to be part of a congregation that celebrates and engenders your success, not their own. The best congregations empower people to succeed in the world. The worst ones devour people for their own organizational advancement.
Societal transformation comes as individuals excel in their God given abilities in companies and communities, growing in influence in our world. If your congregation is helping empower you to excel in the world, they are doing God’s work. If they are not, well …
Life is too short to be spent in dysfunctional organizations that cannibalize instead of catalyze your success. Don’t be afraid...
What is wrong with success..?
It depends on who you ask. Some people think that:
"Being a slave in God's kingdom is far better than being the president of the largest earthly corporation" – quote from a Christian leader
If Joseph or Daniel had listened to that quote, Israel may not exist today.
It sounds humble, devotional, and even sacrificial and it is probably well intended. However, it wrongly decreases service to God to low places, and devalues positions of influence in the world. It sets up the concept: That success in the world is in direct in opposition to serving God.
In other words, in an attempt to magnify God’s greatness and Kingdom in our minds, this quote undermines our place in His plan. As a result of concepts like this, many believers today have little to no understanding of their place in God’s plan and almost no practical insight in how to fulfill it.
This is a serious problem.
Without a vision of a life serving God IN THE WORLD, many believers are adrift, floundering in their faith, and feel disconnected from Him. Some have no hope that their professional life could ever be a product of their faith.
The world therefore suffers loss as a direct result of our faulty understanding. We fail to realize the God-given nobility that is derived from succeeding in the world. When, in fact, our success is a service to humanity and God.
You might want to read that again.
God’s purpose for your life is that you discover, develop and succeed in the gifts He has placed within you. Your success and growth in the world are key parts of God’s plan for your life to serve humanity and further His purposes on the planet....
What would happen if Christian entrepreneurs aimed their efforts outside the church community to serve the world with their gifts?
God created you to bring your unique part to the world. It matters little whether your contribution is deemed large or small; global or local; sacred or secular, it is still needed. The world suffers lack when you hold back.
What could happen if churches, businesses and government agencies united and empowered people to succeed, instead of enslaving them for their competing agendas?
Jesus said it’s counterproductive to light a candle and then hide its brightness. So why would you think God puts gifts and talents in you and does not want you to succeed with them?
Is transformation of our world a legitimate possibility?