Is working in church more spiritual?

We all long to find our destiny and to live a purposeful life. No one of us wants to live without meaning, live for nothing. We would like to contribute to this world in some way or the other.

“The most sad thing in the world, is not that people die, but they live a life without a purpose.” – Myles Munroe

Our media channel’s are filled with how to Becoming Your Most Fulfilled Self, How to find your purpose, How to become your best self etc.

This is not strange, this is something God has put into man-kind, but it has to start with Christ, not me!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

When I was studying economy as a young man, we read about a behavioral scientist and psychologist named Abraham Maslow. You might have heard of him? He is very famous for his “Hierarchy of needs“:

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Clothes
  4. Housing
  5. Protection
  6. Security
  7. Preservation
  8. Self-Actualization
  9. Significance

Maslow listed these motivational needs in order of priority.

Based on these, you will find that if you do not have the first ones, you simply do not care of the other ones.

e.g. In western world many of us are depressed as we have all these in place in life and maybe only wrestle with the last one of the list, Significance. But in other parts of the world, they would not bother about Significance or purpose in life, as they are simply fighting just to survive the day.

For us growing up in church, we have heard numerous sermons how important it is to live for Christ, and our hearts desire is really to do that. But what does it really mean? Can our calling in life only be fulfilled in Church or elsewhere? Is there such a thing as a secular life and a spiritual life? or fulltime for God?

I think one reason why churches are overloaded with activities in Church, that usually are for those within, is that we act as it is only in Church context we really can serve God, or as missionaries in other countries.

Why is it so? Are we all to live our lives in church in order to fulfill our destiny?

Very often, I have been talking with young people trying to find their purpose in life, and the only references they have from what has been taught in Church is that to full-fill Gods plan for you, you need to do it in Church. Fulltime for church, to be a pastor, evangelist, worship leader, deacon, youth leader, usher etc. Because then you really serve God. In the secular arena (never mentioned in scripture), we only work to earn money, so we then can serve God with our money and then in Church.

Maybe only 5% of us can work fulltime in Church, but what about the 95% of us? Yes, we should all build church, all serve in Church. But not as fulltime in Church.

What is Paul saying about this?

1 Cor 7:20 – Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.

1 Cor 7:24 – So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

2 Thess 3:7 – For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

1 Thess 4:10b – But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Paul was not afraid to work, and never did he mentioned it to be less spiritual or even secular. Pauls idea is that us working in ordinary working place will make more impact for the Kingdom than all of us leave our current vocation to be hired by a Church.

You will be suprised to see in the bible that God is using far more “ordinary” people in a working vocation than a “Spiritual” vocation such as the Levites, Priests and Prophets, to impact the world with his Kingdom.

The difference between Kingdom mindset and Church mindset is that in the Kingdom you will serve God everywhere, if you understand your Kingdom purpose. To restore the world back to Christ.

“If you’re a city planner, there is a New Jerusalem. If you’re a lawyer there will be a time of perfect righteousness and justice”…. The way we view the not yet will inevitably impact the way we respond in the here and now.

—Tim Keller

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