The Bible shows us your Father’s truth about human work as part of his good purpose in creation. The Bible would bring the whole of our working lives within the sphere of ministry, as we serve you in our different callings. Instead, the falsehood of a ‘sacred-secular divide’ has permeated our thinking and action. This falsehood tells us that religious activity belongs to God, whereas other activity does not. Most of us spend most of our time in work that we may think has little spiritual value (so-called secular work). But you, our God, are the Lord of all of life and we are reminded that Paul said, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men’ to slaves in the pagan workplace. Amen.
In spite of the enormous evangelistic and transformational opportunity of the workplace, where adult Christians have most relationships with non-Christians, few churches have the vision to equip their people to seize this. We have failed to regard work in itself as biblically and intrinsically significant, as we have failed to bring the whole of life under the Lordship of Christ.
We name this secular-sacred divide as a major obstacle to the mobilization of all God’s people in the mission of God, and we call upon Christians worldwide to reject its unbiblical assumptions and resist its damaging effects. We challenge the tendency to see ministry and mission (local and cross-cultural) as being mainly the work of church-paid ministers and missionaries, who are a tiny percentage of the whole body of Christ.
We encourage all believers to accept and affirm their own daily ministry and mission as being wherever God has called them to work. We challenge pastors and church leaders to support people in such ministry – in the community and in the workplace – ‘to equip the saints for works of service [ministry]’ - in every part of their lives.
We urge church leaders to understand the strategic impact of ministry in the workplace and to mobilize, equip and send out their church members as missionaries into the workplace, both in their own local communities and in countries that are closed to traditional forms of gospel witness.
We urge mission leaders to integrate ‘tentmakers’ fully into the global missional strategy.
We pray for intensive efforts to train all your people in whole-life discipleship, which means to live, think, work, and speak from a biblical worldview and with missional effectiveness in every place or circumstance of our daily life and work. We, Christians in many skills, trades, businesses and professions, can often go to places where traditional church planters and evangelists may not. We pray that what these ‘tentmakers’ and business people do in the workplace is valued as an aspect of the ministry of local churches. Amen.
Ask God to pour out his Spirit to stir us with a vision of the gospel for every person and family.