Though there are many Christians ministering in today’s marketplace, it seems they can be held back by the heresy of the sacred-secular divide. This may be because they do not feel comfortable to share their faith at work or they may feel they have a lesser calling because they are in business rather than ministry. I believe God wants us to move beyond the sacred-secular divide in all areas of life including the marketplace. Your faith, motivated by the love of God, can be shared as we encourage each other, as believers, to follow a vocation based on a faith journey as God leads us to be salt and light everywhere.
Yes, we live in a pluralistic society but that doesn’t disqualify us from presenting a Christian worldview within our personal spheres of influence. As Christians we are challenged to fulfil the Great Commission to ‘go into all the world and make disciples of all people’. Bishop Lesslie Newbigin described this as ‘Missio Deo’, the mission of God. He was a great British Father in the Faith and a missionary to India who also impacted the wider Church with this concept. He challenged Christians to realise they are not truly part of the Church unless they are active in mission.
So how can we bridge the sacred-secular divide today?
The church in the West is going through a serious reset as we learn from our brothers and sisters in the Persecuted Church. The concept of Missio Deo challenges us to be more active in our outreach to all people. The Kingdom, with respect to church leaders, is more important than the Church, because the Kingdom is in you, and you go to church. Church leadership is about developing mature discipleship. This isn’t always a programme, but a deep community of faith built together by the Lord Himself. So I encourage you to embrace these steps in overcoming the sacred-secular divide.
1. Embrace your vocation in life
We need to be confident that our God-given vocation, whatever that is, is a Kingdom initiative. So whether you are involved in business, education, healthcare or are in the media etc, let God use you where you are. I believe part of revival is releasing people into their heartfelt vocation.
We do this with our natural children as we want them to succeed and we should be doing that in our congregations as well. We need to be empowering new generations, showing them that there is no sacred-secular divide. More mothers and fathers are needed in church leadership.
We need to realise the Kingdom is so important to God as we encourage each other in what we’re doing. We need new wineskins to carry the new wine God is giving us. Young people don’t want to use the same old wineskins. Let’s go where God takes us, otherwise good can be the enemy of the best. David never rebelled against Saul, but he had a heart after God. There is a new Davidic generation developing who will bring the Kingdom of God in these most challenging of times.
2. Have an authentic testimony
You can never underestimate the power of an Authentic Testimony to break down barriers as people love to hear a good story, warts and all. In fact, people relate more to the brokenness of our story than to our successes. God understands our humanity, He knows our back story and it is so powerful when we share it. It’s an outer trip, it’s an inner journey as my wife, Kerry writes in her book Gotta Die To Live.
I like what Mike Bickle says, “I don’t want to read another book about how successful a ministry has been, without them sharing how they got there.” In today’s world we need to be open and honest and real in sharing our faith. Let us always remember the words of Revelation 12:11 – “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11)
3. Live out the commandments of Christ
Jesus only gave us two main commandments. These can be found in Matthew 22:37-39. To love God and to love our neighbor. In the West, we don’t have the power of the second because we need a Book of Acts experience of the first. We need to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. This will enable us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The second is difficult if not spiritually impossible without the first.
We can learn from the Early Church. They loved God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. The same goes for the Persecuted Church today. When you love God with all your heart, you are connected with Heaven and have the ability to love your neighbour as yourself in both the good and bad times.
4. Learn from the Persecuted Church
Let us remember our brothers and sisters in Persecuted countries who are really taking a hit for the Gospel. There are some 350 million of them who exemplify their devotion to Jesus above anything else including their freedom, their very lives. They are really walking the talk. When you see their devotion it’s clear that revival is already happening amongst these millions of persecuted believers. They’re awake in the dark while we are asleep in the light.
However I don’t write this to condemn anyone. There is no condemnation, in Christ. We must be open to conviction since the truth sets us free.
5. Pray for Revival
We are the only faith on the planet that has the hope of being changed on the inside. This is the motivation to move beyond the sacred-secular divide. Let us pray that whatever we’re doing, whether in business or in another area of influence or ministry, or whether in the home, we would all be passionate about God and motivated by the Good News of Jesus. This is a messy process, but truly liberating.
Let us put aside our differences, insecurities and fears to ensure that we see the Holy Spirit touching people’s lives. The Good News of the Gospel doesn’t change in good or bad times. Let us cry with those who are crying and be God’s hands and feet wherever needed.
I think Missio Deo is wonderful and exciting. What an amazing future we have ahead!
Also read: The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society by Lesslie Newbigin.