My friend Steve has a large congregation in downtown
Atlanta. Some of the best and brightest professionals our city has to offer are
part of it. Like many churches today, his group is currently reading through
Rick Warrens book, The Purpose Driven Life. Many who attend are
growing closer to the Lord, getting to know His Word better, and some have just
recently been introduced to Christ.
Oh, did I mention my friends congregation isnt part of a church? Its
actually a group of Steves co-workers at Coca-Cola headquarters here in
You see, Steve knows that, when God called him to a personal relationship,
He never intended for Steves church life to be separate from the rest of his
life. In fact, part of the genius of Gods calling is that all of us are
uniquely gifted and placed in settings where we can reach people who may never
cross paths with a pastor or missionary.
But too many Christians have settled for the ordinary every
day. Making an impact for their faith is the exception, not the rule. Too many
are what I call Time magazine Christians. Just as the sections of
Time are divided into departments such as News, Science, Sports and
Entertainment, Christians have established dividing lines in their lives. We
have a section called Home and another called Work and one called Social Life
and another called Faith.
Unfortunately, theres usually very little blurring of the lines. And its not
the way God intended our faith to work. He wants our relationship with Him to
spill into every other section of our life. In fact, He wants us to understand
our calling to be from Godeven if we are teachers or software engineers or
bankers or plumbers or homemakers. Or even bottlers of tasty soft drinks like
my friends at Coke. God wants us to understand our professional calling into
secular jobsas well as ministry jobsas being from Him, if weve asked Him to
guide our lives and weve promised to serve Him. God wants each of His followers
to experience the joy of being part of His redemptive work with mankind.
Remember the last words Jesus spoke to His followers before ascending into
heaven? Theyre recorded in Acts 1:8 (NLT): But when the Holy Spirit has
come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me
everywherein Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the
Dont forget that, when He spoke those words, Jesus wasnt addressing pastors
and missionariesHe was speaking to people right in the marketplace. And what do
we mean by the marketplace? A tax collector, fishermen and people from other
walks of life working in secular occupations. Sound familiar? It should. Those
were the people whojust like in the twenty-first centurys economywere taking
care of business, producing goods and services, providing the labor force for
the citizens, Gods people.
Jesus was telling each of them to keep sharing with others about His death,
burial and resurrection and the Good News that only He could save them from
And He tells us that today. He guides each of us into an occupation where we
can serve Himnot only by sharing the gospel but by living the gospel in such a
way that our culture is penetrated with biblical truths, perhaps changing that
culture to become more holy, more honoring of the sacred, more loving toward
I think of a young Christian named Ruth Okediji. She thought she had to
become a missionary to serve God. But He seemed to be closing doors to
missionary opportunities and opening doors to a career in law and higher
education. She finally realized that her law students on a university campus
would be her mission field. And thats where Ruth serves God today, right here
in North Americawith the same fervor and dedication she would have taken to the
darkest corners of the globe.
What lines do you need to blur in your life? Are you separating the sacred
from the secular? Next time you find yourself living a Time magazine
existence, remember Steve at Coca-Cola and start asking God to help you make
every day extraordinary.
Dr. Bob Reccord is president of the North American Mission Board, SBC.
His latest book is Made To Count (W Publishing Group, 2004). He hosts
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