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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Road Warriors for God

I recently read that one need not go overseas to be a missionary. The concept was not new, but it reminded me that I have another take on that thought I’ve been meaning to write about for some time. This is it.

You also don’t have to be sent out by a mission organization to be an effective missionary for God. My last ministry position and current home church is First Church of God in St Joseph, Michigan. We have an awesome missions program that began over a hundred years ago when a group of German immigrants gathered in St Joseph and found there was no Church of God congregation. They started one and in so doing began one of the greatest home, national, and international mission organizations in the state of Michigan.

But a large amount of our missions outreach has nothing to with our mission program. We are in the unique position as a congregation to be in the communities the Whirlpool Corporation and several other world class corporations call home. Working in Whirlpool and other great companies of Southwest Michigan are a huge number of godly men and women who love the Lord and love their jobs (or at least love their families enough to do their jobs). They may be in church on Sunday morning, but on Monday they may be on their way to any continent in the world. Wherever they go in the world they take their faith with them and live it out day after day in all the places they go. Their salaries and travel expenses are paid by their employers and their primary concern is to do the work they are sent to do—selling product, training workers and leaders, solving problems, or doing a multitude of other significant tasks I can’t even comprehend.

My point is that they do it as godly men and women who love the Lord and show it in simple, but significant ways that impact the people with whom they work and interact in their travels. They may work for Whirlpool or some other corporation, but they are no less on mission for God than I was when I went to Africa as a missionary. They go as caring, considerate individuals who lavish God’s grace on the people they meet in the airports, hotels, and restaurants in addition to the places where they do the work they are sent to do.

One friend often goes to China and India. Some time ago in China, when he finished teaching a class, he had a young lady approach him who asked if he were a Christian. My friend was a bit shocked. He had been very careful to not be an evangelist for Christ, because it wasn’t allowed in China, so he couldn’t imagine what he could have said that would make her think that. He told her he was a Christian, but asked how she knew. She said something like this, “I’m a Christian too, and I thought you acted like a Christian.” Even in a normal Christian life, God’s grace shines through.

I’ve heard so many stories like this. A frustrating experience in an airport with the temptation to lose it, but by God’s grace you don’t, and God reveals himself through you to someone who really needs to see him in a practical real-life situation—and God gets the glory!

It doesn’t matter what you do. If it is a job that somehow adds to the good of society you can do it as a form of ministry that is just as significant as preaching the Gospel or “going” on mission.

I'm Rick Blumenberg and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

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