The Sunday morning invitation ends, and the pastor invites a young woman
to join him as she shares her decision. She has submitted to the call of God on
her life, the pastor says, and wants the church to affirm her as she seeks to
enroll in law school.
Law school? Shouldnt somebody that bright be using her gifts in
full-time Christian ministry, possibly as a missionary? Or, if God is still
working on her, maybe even as a teacher at a Christian school?
Most of us would never admit such biases, but theyre there. And a
critical part of the North American Mission Boards strategy for reaching the
United States and Canada is convincing many of us that God doesnt just call
people to the ministry. He calls each of us to minister where we arepenetrating
the culture with a gospel that can change it.
Dr. Juan Campos checks the ears of Gumaro Calles during an
examination at a health clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.
PHOTO BY GIBBS FRAZEUR
We need to unleash the laity, says Randy Singer, NAMBs special assistant and
chief counsel. If we want to see great revival in North America, first we have
to get past the notion that the pastors have to do it all.
That army of Christians can make a difference in any career and any
workplace. But look around, and youll find that the professions most able to
impact the culture in a positive way are the very ones Christians have tended
Consider the legal profession. One survey by the Barna Research Group found
that only about four percent of attorneys consider themselves born-again
evangelical Christians. Meanwhile, attorneys not only run the entire judicial
system, but large numbers eventually move on to equally influential careers in
politics or as top executives of large corporations. Similar dichotomies also
exist in the entertainment industry, news media and higher education.
Why have we stepped away from those culturally impacting professions? asks
Singer. Theres the notion that certain secular callings are more Christian than
Singer, a trial attorney himself, is leading efforts to impact the legal
profession in partnership with the Christian Legal Societyincluding conferences
to help Christian lawyers see how they can make a difference. A Southern
Baptist chap- lain also will be endorsed next year to work specifically with
attorneys, Singer says. Similar efforts are being developed to work with
Christian business executives to help them use their influence for kingdom
In Hollywood, Mission Service Corps missionary Victorya Michaels Rogers is a
former talent agent who now devotes her time to developing relationships with
individuals at all levels of the television and film industriesleading them to
Christ and encouraging them in faith as they impact those around them with the
And in Midtown Manhattan, NAMB is helping start The
Four One One Church, which is seeking to minister to the thousands who work in
the Times Square theater district.
NAMBs strategy of penetrating the culture also extends to other efforts
outside the church, including evangelistic advertising campaigns, the FamilyNet
television network and the dedicated Evangelism Response Center telephone
answering system to allow people who respond to those efforts to talk further
with someone about Christ.
But while the air war of broadcasting and media-based efforts is important,
its the ground forcesindividual believers like all of us living out our faith
dailywho are likely to have the greatest impact.
If were going to penetrate the culture of North America, its a calling for
all Christians to take their ministry to their profession, Singer says, and use
that as a platform for sharing Jesus Christ.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC