Jobs and Jesus
Ahhh the first job. The first paycheck. Graduating from piggybank to a legitimate savings account. The first time having a consistent tithing routine. What great memories. I know our readers here range from middle school to college students, so let’s talk mowing lawns and working the register in the university book store. Let’s talk babysitting and collecting shopping carts (carriages or buggies depending on where you live) from the Walmart parking lot. Let’s talk working at the local daycare and interning at the law office. Okay, I think we get the point. Let’s talk “Jobs and Jesus.”
Our first jobs truly are important. They teach valuable communication skills, time management and responsibility, and they offer teamwork experience and provide invaluable opportunities to make mistakes and learn how to fail forward. I remember my first job. When I was in high school, I decided to start teaching drum lessons to beginners. I ended up with a whopping four students per week! I know that doesn’t seem like much, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. A few years later, I found my college student self parking cars as a valet at the Conrad Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Right now, most of you currently find yourself somewhere between washing cars and attempting to pass the bar. There are times it might seem like your job and your God are in two totally different realms, almost as if they exist in a parallel universe. Your job is confined to a nine to five, Monday through Friday box, while your God is meant for Sundays. Here’s the reality check about jobs and Jesus—He wants to be a part of your job. He created us to work, so why would He ever create us to do something that would separate us from Him and His purpose for our existence?
Look at Genesis chapter two. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15, NIV). We are wired by God to work, and we are also commissioned to make disciples. These two things are to operate simultaneously, not in opposition to one another. The apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians, “We are ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20, KJV). This ambassadorship is not exempt from being activated in the workplace. I’d argue that we are to be ambassadors for Christ especially in the workplace. Traeger and Gilbert put it best in their “How to Share Your Faith at Work” writings.
They write, “As a Christian, you are a fully credentialed ambassador of the empire of Jesus, High King of the universe. God has entrusted to you the message of reconciliation, the good news that Jesus reconciles rebels. That’s as true from 9-5 Monday through Friday as it is for any other hour of your life. When you go to church, you’re an ambassador for the King. When you hang out with your friends, you’re an ambassador for the King. When you go to work, meet with a client, participate in a meeting, work on a project, drive a nail, create a blueprint, welcome a customer, or write a white paper, you’re still an ambassador for the King.”
I believe we have caught the vision of our school campuses being our mission field: a place we can operate in boldness in living out our faith and sharing Jesus Christ with our classmates. Shout out to P7 Clubs and Campus Ministry International! Now we must take this missional mindset to the workplace because we are full-time ambassadors for Christ. The hallways of our job are as much of a mission field as the hallways of our middle school. The break rooms of our workplaces are as much of a mission field as our high school library. The working lunch is as much of a mission field as the college cafeteria. Let’s pray for boldness to become missionaries wherever we find ourselves. Let’s get Jesus out of the Sunday box and impact our workplace for the cause of Jesus Christ!
Preston Keller is the student pastor of LiveWire Student Ministries in Lancaster, Ohio. He is also the host student pastor of RUSH Student Conference (rushstudentconference.com). Preston loves coffee and pizza…probably a little too much.