Everyone has questions about all sorts of things – identity, sexuality, gourmet cooking, business start up parenting, communication, golf, or a nearly infinite list of subjects. One of the most natural places to find answers is in the pages of a book. We peruse them and devour then looking for bits of insight and information to improve our understanding. And numerous books do a fine job of answering our questions clearly.
But there is type of book, a much rarer creation, that does something more. Often the questions we ask of a book are all we know, but there are questions we did not even know were in us. These are uncertainties and emptiness in the soul, that nagging, unidentified sense of unease about . . . something. A common book answers recognized questions, but this singular variety of books brings to light those questions buried so deep in us we could not name or articulate them. And once the questions are drawn to the surface the book goes on to provide answers.
Ever notice the dissonance?
The early Christians saw their mission as global in scope, but during his earthly ministry, Jesus explicitly declared his mission to be focused only on Israel (Matt 15:24).
When traced backwards, the flow of universal mission of the early church runs into the rocks of Jesus’ striking particularity. What gives?
Here’s my brief attempt at giving an answer.
Anyone working in a “secular” job will be tempted to think of work as less significant or less God honoring than that of, say, a pastor. I have struggled here, and over the years I have met many others who struggle with a sense of purpose in their daily work — wondering if they need instead to give themselves to pastoral work or Christian ministry in order to truly “do God’s will.”
Done rightly and in the fear of God, ministry is an excellent God-honoring vocation, but ministry is not the only work that can be God-honoring. So often businessmen like me think this way because we fail to really take hold of the doctrine of vocation. To put it simply, vocation is the specific work that God has called each of us to. And vocation is not limited to those who serve in Christian ministry.