A good friend of mine, J.T., is one of those Christians who just spills
over with the love of Christ. No matter what hes doing, his faith has an impact
on those around him.
Early in his Christian walk, J.T. thought he was being called to vocational
ministry. He met with his pastor, who told him that sometimes when our walk
with Christ deepens and we start to feel His call on our lives, we naturally
assume it means full-time Christian service. But thats not always the case.
J.T. took more time to listen closely to Gods leading and determined he
wasnt being called to full-time Christian work. Instead, God was calling him to
be on mission as a layman. His pastor supported him completely and
encouraged him to live out that calling daily in one of the worlds most
unrecognized mission fieldsthe marketplace of North America.
My friend went on to start one of the most
successful development companies in North Florida and Georgia. His net
worth today is measured in the millions, but his calling remains as it was when
he was that teenager who first felt God moving in his life. Because of
his faithfulness, God has given J.T. opportunities to share his faith with many
people over the years. Some are among the wealthiest and most powerful people
in North America, such as drugstore magnate Jack Eckerd.
In addition God used J.T. to impact other peers when he served as the
chairman of the Governors Prayer Breakfast for the state of Florida for 18
years. Some mission field, huh?
J.T. lives out a mission to which God is calling each of us.
First, he understands that, when God brings us to a relationship with
Himself, He doesnt want us to become cul-de-sac Christians. He wants us to live
out our faith in a way that will impact others by showing them Christ.
Sometimes it might mean a full-time Christian vocation, but most often it
means staying right where we are and ministering to those around us. That
calling is every bit as legitimate as the one a pastor or missionary or church
staff member receives.
The places we work, the schools we attend, the neighborhoods we live in all
have people who need to know Christ in a personal way. If we leave the work of
evangelism to pastors and missionaries, many of the people around us wont be
challenged with the truths of the Bible.
Just as the Apostle Paul prayed that he would complete the task of
testifying to the gospel of Gods grace, we each should find our place in that
Next, God wants us to tell His story. We all need to be growing in Christ
through prayer, Bible study, fellowship and worship, but its not enough just to
live an upright Christian life in front of people. We need to be telling the
story of what Christ did for us and what He can do for others. And we need to
be sure Christ is the hero of the story, not us! Remember its not primarily
about us, its all about Him!
Remember the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39? The
Ethiopian was obviously searching for Godhe was reading scripture. But he didnt
understand what he was reading. He needed someone to explain it. Philip could
have said God bless you. Ill pray for you, and moved on. But instead, he took
the time to tell the Ethiopian about Christ.
Theres something exciting that happens when we are obedient to answer Gods
call and then faithfully tell His story. We cant help but see our world
The Ethiopian responded and wanted to be baptized right away. His world was
changed forever. And we have every reason to believe that when he returned to
his native country, he told the story just as Philip had told him.
Today, if its an average day in Africa, 20,000 people will be introduced to
Christ. The decision of the Ethiopian Eunuch and Philips faithfulness are still
changing the world, even today.
What about you? Have you answered Gods call to tell His story no matter
where you are or what you are doing in life? Or have you decided its for the
Dont miss out on the command and opportunity Jesus gave for all of us to go
and make disciples. Youll discover a fuller relationship with Christ. Its a
journey that cant help but change your world.
Dr. Bob Reccord is president of the North American Mission Board, SBC.
His latest book is Beneath the Surface: Steering Clear of Dangers that
Could Leave You Shipwrecked (Broadman & Holman 2002). He is host of the
Strength for Living Baptist Hour which airs on more than 400 radio
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC