Sandy and I are full time RV’ers. Living full time in a 40’ 5th wheel trailer, we no longer have a sticks and bricks house. Home is now wherever we park it. As with all things, there are both pros and cons to this life. For us the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and we love it.
While that decision has changed our lives, there is a more important kind of full-time life. All Christians are full time Christians. We are all always God’s children with a full-time mission, and it is actually our Father who provides for all of us regardless of our vocational calling.
Full Time Christians in the Trenches
As believers, God expects us to always serve each other and to always be ready to share the reason for our hope with anyone who asks. And then he said that as we seek his kingdom, HE would meet our needs.
So when we as Christians decide how we are going to make a living to meet our needs, this is what is really happening: God says okay, so you want (or feel called) to be a farmer, or a business owner, or work in a corporate factory or office. Or maybe you want to work for a local small business, or be a musician or a teacher or a writer.
Okay, go do that. Go spend time working together with that community of people and share your life with them, help them, and tell them about me when it makes sense. That is your mission – to serve the people you encounter as you pursue the work you’ve chosen to do. And while you’re there serving me by serving them, I will arrange to meet your needs by having them pay you in some way.
You go serve them and I will meet your needs as you do. That is what is really happening for Christians. Our job is to serve where we are. And he will meet our needs.
One might consider these Christians, most of us, as the foot soldiers, out in the trenches fighting the daily battles of serving God and man, while depending on God to meet our needs.
Full Time Leaders, Teachers, Medics
Now, for the folks who are called to be pastors, missionaries and evangelists, it is the same, but different. It is the same in that God says, you go do the work I’ve called you to do and I will meet your needs. But he arranges to meet those needs through the gifts and contributions of the foot soldiers, the Christians who are serving God and man out in the more common vocations.
This dependence upon the gifts of God’s people embodies another difference. It usually, though not always, requires more faith to depend upon God’s people than to trust in a corporate paycheck (although both are ultimately from the hand of God).
These pastors might be considered to be the leaders, trainers and medics whose calling is to lead, equip and support the foot soldiers.
Regardless of our calling, our mission and promise of support is the same.
Is there a retirement plan?
In America many of us work for 40-50 years, then we retire. How does retirement fit into this understanding of our lives as full-time servants, one and all. Simple really. There is no retirement from our mission and purpose. Only two things change when we retire from the ‘working world’.
First, God changes the method he uses to continue to meet our needs. And secondly, we often have additional discretionary time to serve Him and others more and perhaps in different ways.
So one more time … what is MY mission?
- If I am a Christian factory worker, what is my mission? To serve God and mankind where you are and trust Him to meet your needs through your work.
- I am currently unemployable and on Medicaid, what about me? Serve God and mankind where you are and trust Him to meet your needs.
- What if I am a Christian writer or teacher? Serve God and mankind where you are and trust Him to meet your needs through your work.
- But I am a Christian millionaire business owner, what is MY mission? To serve God and mankind where you are and trust Him to meet your needs through your work.
- I am called of God to be a Pastor … Thank you for answering the call. Your mission is to serve God and mankind and trust Him to meet your needs through the gifts and contributions of God’s people. And though your mission is generally the same, you have a special calling that may include greater sacrifice, accountability and reward. Thank you!
- But wait, I’m retired now. I can do whatever I want, right? No, your mission my friend, is to serve God and mankind and trust Him to meet your needs through a new and different means.
There are of course many more details that could, and perhaps should, be added here. But I’ve already gone (quite characteristically) far too long. Let’s then finish with this:
“But [no matter who you are] seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)