The work of someone who follows Jesus is “ministry.” That is, ministry isn’t reserved for people who attend seminary or work for a church. Jesus intends our faith in him to be “in effect” full-time, even at work. If we follow Jesus, he will ask us to live a full-time faith, wherever we are.
The act of ministry is helping others draw one notch closer to God. When we live growing closer to God ourselves, we create opportunities for others to see God and want to draw closer to him, too. We serve others out of a love for Jesus (closeness to him) so they might want to draw closer to him, too.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.1 Peter 3:15 ESV
Another translation states it like this:
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect.1 Peter 3:15-16a NET
Full-time Faith Model
Peter was one of the twelve people who spent years learning from Jesus. He lays out a great model for lifestyle or conversational ministry to our friends, family and coworkers. Today, most people think they understand life. They believe they have as good an answer as anyone else. So a Christian’s idea about eternity has no more weight than any other individual’s particular idea. Consequently, most people, including many who claim to follow Jesus, choose their own beliefs based on the facts they value.
In one concise sentence, Peter identifies 5 keys to full-time faith and primarily interacting with others regarding our faith in Jesus. You won’t find any command to memorize a gospel presentation. And actully, , you won’t find any idea about hanging out in the lunch room trying to force Jesus into every conversation. But using Peter’s model, we can serve Jesus daily and we will be in a position to be the person he uses to bless other people and make himself visible.
The 5 keys:
- Set Christ apart as Lord in your heart[s];
- Always be ready to give an answer;
- To anyone who asks;
- About the hope you possess
- With gentleness and respect.
Following Peter’s instruction in this verse gives us a strategy to join Jesus in our workplace. Jesus is there, and he is involved in the lives of everyone we meet. These 5 keys will put us in a position where our actions can make an eternal difference in the life of everyone we meet.
Our next few posts, we will cover these keys in more depth. We hope this helps us to minister intentionally at work without seeming like a jerk. In the meanwhile, why not memorize this verse? This passage provides wisdom to live a full-time faith. Next up, Part 2: Set Christ apart as Lord in your heart.
(Part 3: Visible Hope)