At Work & Public Square & Theology 101

Three Ways Global Missions and Your Everyday Work Go Hand in Hand

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Editor’s note: Today we introduce Austin Burkhart, the newest contributor to the IFWE blog. He is the founder of ONE2 Conferences, a faith and work event for college students. He blogs weekly at AustinBurkhart.com.

Our faith should not be confined to Sunday church. The way we live and work should inspire others to seek God. True, right?

So why is it so easy to think our “Christian” role on earth is either to be a missionary or support one financially? Why do we often believe everything else doesn’t really matter?

The way you live every day matters. Hard work, selfless service, and productivity matter. Love for your community and your neighbors matters.

Why do these things matter, especially to missions?

1. Everyone can be involved in more than going or sending.

Please don’t deceive yourself into thinking that you have fulfilled your “Christian duty” by giving to global missions. Our “Go or Give” mentality with missions is closer to 18th century indulgences than gospel truth.

Often, we think we can “buy our righteousness” by sponsoring enough missionaries. Instead, we need to show other Christians and non-believers alike that we can make a difference right where they are.

2. Your faith is more than hot air.

You can repeat all the spiritual words you want, but ultimately they fall flat in the mind of a skeptic. If you’re not engaged in actively loving others where you work and live, your words don’t matter.

By working hard and serving the people right around you, it shows that you care about advancing good not just globally, but locally as well.

3. You can model the power of the gospel to people around you.

If your faith is only concerned with things a million miles away, what good is it to those closest to you? But show the people around you how they can change the world, right where they are, and they will

If your faith makes you more joyful, engaged, and productive on a daily basis, you’ll inspire others to seek the same faith.

Now, notice anything missing? Maybe more surprising than the three reasons I listed is the fact that I didn’t list two more. Going to serve the nations and giving toward world missions.

Don’t misunderstand me, going and giving are both crucial components of a mission-driven Christian life. One cannot substitute for the other if you want to be in the middle of God’s triumphant movement through all the nations.

But please don’t count a week in Africa as your missions work for the year. If you do, you’re ignoring the great opportunities you have right in front of you. An opportunity to model, to show, what you say you believe.

This article appeared in its original version on AustinBurkhart.com and appears with the permission of the author.

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  • Ronald Welch

    Thank you, Austin!
    I believe the workplace is one of the most neglected mission fields in America and the world today. Every believer is called to “go” and make disciples in all nations and cultures, including the workplace. We are also called to “give” not only of our financial resources, but also of our God-given abilities and availabilities (ourselves).
    Question: In difficult work situations, (failing or unreasonable leadership for example), where it is easy to get caught up in the complaining and criticizing as the unbeliever does, what are ways believers can model biblically-based solutions before unbelieving co-workers, so as to “inspire others to seek the same faith?”
    Thanks,
    Ronald Welch

    • Thanks Ronald! I completely agree with you! What an opportunity we have before us each day to do our work and live in a way worthy of the Gospel of Jesus. That is a great and difficult question. The question, in my mind, is, “I know what, now how?” There is no satisfying cookie-cutter answer. This is something we must work out over time. My advice: Ask others in similar situations, invite a pastor or mentor to breakfast, and talk about it in community-based events like qideas.org/qcommons/ or one2conferences.com

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