Church Ministry vs. Marketplace Ministry

Most Christians in the Western world experience the Christian faith on Sunday at a worship service or small group meeting that fits a particular pattern. Some denominations take different forms, but for many the experience takes much the same form each week. Some people preach or sing or play music from a stage. We follow an order of service. Everyone appears to be pretty much what we’d like to be. They don’t seem to have any problems. They look “fine” and sound “fine.”

When we go to work on Monday, we might be tempted to think we have to jam those same activities into the world. So we try to start Bible studies at work or we plan Christian breakfasts or lunches. We even judge the people around us by their willingness to participate in the things we do or don’t do.

But our world resists. From the Christian perspective, you hear philosophers talk about how we are beyond postmodern. When it comes to “church” most who are not involved have “been there and done that.” They aren’t going to church, but more importantly, they don’t want church delivered either.

I often feel like we (Christ-followers) can be pretty clueless about how others perceive us. They think we’re pretty clueless. Some see us as trying to hold onto the past, and trying to resist the future.

So workplace ministry must change. We can’t expect non-Christians to behave like Christians any more. We can’t expect them to appreciate church, or Christian fellowship. Often we think we’re just like everyone else. We believe if we like something, others will too.

Following Jesus changes us. We can’t follow Jesus and remain where we are. After we’ve followed Jesus for years, memories of life before Jesus fade.

Please resist the temptation to try to entice non-Christians to like things related to Jesus. Live like you trust Jesus. Pray for your friends. Find ways to notice, appreciate, and serve them. When it comes to telling others about your faith, wait until you’re asked or ask permission to tell them about your faith. Help others with no expectation of return and they will ask. If you consistently serve others and consider them more important than yourself, you will be asked. For now, simply pray, care and notice.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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