In some churches, guys are often fed the lie that unless they’re a pastor, or doing some ‘secular’ work that can be quickly linked to some moral or spiritual value, it’s 2nd-class work. Or if you’re in a church where the whole ‘man of adventure’ thing is being pushed, unless you’re out chopping down wood, or fighting some battle, it’s ‘just a job’ that you have to suck it up and work it for a paycheck. Mike Erre addresses this myth in his book Why Guys Need God: The Spiritual Side of Money, Sex, and Relationships, by talking about his buddy who’s an average, un-sexy job in the mortgage industry:
How should my friend see his job? As simply a means of paying the bills? Or as something much more?
The first thing we might say to this friend is that he must see his job within the big, epic, story we talked about…[creation, fall, redemption]. It is part of being human and being a man. And he must find a way to name the animals in his current occupation in order for him to see its place within the larger story. This is absolutely critical if he is to discover God’s purposes for him in his job. How does he do this?
We might begin by saying that human beings need shelter. That is not optional. Owning a house, then, is a good thing. Helping people to live in a way that brings comfort and security is an important thing. Not only that, but because of the legal and financial gymnastics involved in buying a home, my friend is offering a valuable service to his clients by guiding them through the bewildering maze of numbers, points, and payments.
This man also does his work with honesty and integrity. He genuinely seems to put his clients first and tries to bring Jesus glory by speaking kindly and considerately to all around him. He truly does his work “as unto the Lord.” Is this not worship? Is this any less spiritual than pastoral work or missionary work? Of course not. Many have come to faith because of this man’s life and work. He demonstrates what Jesus is like through his kindness and honesty. And he is generous with his money. He works to remedy injustice around him, and he supports several ministries as well as his local church. (pg. 68)
This is an ordinary man following God’s call. Through the way he carries out his daily work as a mortgage broker he is living as an Image-bearer and a disciple of Jesus, on mission in the world.
Honestly, whatever you’re doing (excluding the obviously immoral), you can do as part of your call as an Image-bearer and a disciple of Jesus. Do not be fooled into thinking that the only ‘spiritual’ things you do are those that happen in the local body. I love the local body, and I think people need to serve in it, but don’t for a minute think that the other 40-50 hours a week you spend at your job isn’t also an opportunity to love your neighbor and glorify God in what you do.
Soli Deo Gloria