“An attorney? God could use an attorney on the mission field?”
Her mouth was agape. She had come to a Cross-Cultural Orientation to learn about missions, and this was the first time she had heard that her “secular” career could be used on the mission-field.
Did you see how I put that word “secular” in quotes? We have grown up in Church and have been told that only pastors, evangelists, and missionaries serve the Lord “full-time” and are called into “ministry.” Farmers and bankers and stay-at-home dads and moms are relegated to “secular” vocations.
What if God wants all of our lives – regardless of our job – to be ministry? What if God views all of our work and play and rest as part of our mission? What if nothing is truly secular for a follower of Christ?
The division between “secular” and “spiritual” has infiltrated our concept of missions, too. If you are called to be a missionary, shouldn’t you jettison your college major in psychology or dietetics or music in order to focus on what’s really important: theology and preaching?
Let me state this clearly: studying theology and Bible is essential for any believer and especially for missionaries. You will need it on the mission field and in your ministry for sure!
But a degree in something else as well may make you even MORE useful in your missions’ assignment. Check out what some of our recent GENESIS missionaries have to say:
“My diploma is in Theology, but I grew up in a family of cooks, caterers and chefs. This talent I have utilized greatly over the past two years, catering for Church board retreats, brunches for visiting church heads and hosting special guests at the manse by preparing lunches, dinners, and everything in between.” –Crystalla Williams (sent from Trinidad and Tobago to Grenada)
“I graduated with a degree in Business Administration, and my career has helped me to: manage finances, keep a good budget each month, write reports and newsletters to my donors, plan and organize ministry events, and in general work with anyone I come in contact with.” –Alejandra García (sent from Guatemala to Santo Domingo)
“My experience in music has been very helpful in the mission. I was able to teach Scripture using music as a means of learning, as some kids could not read and write. We have tools that can be used for kingdom growth; it just calls for creativity.” –Cleon Cadogan (sent from Guyana to Grenada).
“I give thanks to God for allowing me to study the major that I always dreamed of: fashion design. Now I realize that my career is an indispensable part of my ministry, not just because I have been able to meet so many people with whom I have shared the gospel, but also because I can teach them basics of sewing and use my creativity to artistically make different materials for all of the events and projects we have organized. When I reflect, I see that my sewing machine has been transformed into a vital component of my ministry.” –Marlene Valadez (sent from Guadalajara to Querétaro, México)
“I’m a lawyer. That major helped me to think of the neediest in our society, and be a voice for those who have none, defending them. I can enter prisons easier than a pastor could, and I can bring words of life, hope, and love when I do. I have been able to help the elderly so that their properties are not taken away from them, help the undocumented with immigration issues, etc. The opportunities are endless.” –Daniela González (sent from Oaxaca to Veracruz, México)
And that’s only five testimonies! I received other testimonies from our missionaries who have studied biology, tourism, medicine, psychology, social work, and teaching, and I have decided to share them at www.transformtheglobe.com. All of these missionaries have been effective in planting churches in urban contexts. But they have been effective in large part because of their “secular” degrees.
The point is: God can use you and your career for his glory – especially on the mission field!
This article was originally published at: Revista Línea