Think you can only serve God in church? Think again, says Mark Greene.
Where do you spend your time during the week? At home, work, the school gates, the gym? Do you know that you can be fruitful for God right where you are, wherever that might be?
These are questions Mark Greene, executive director at The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, encourages everyday Chris- tians and church leaders to ask in order to help people see that we can all make a difference for God in our Monday-to-Sunday lives.
In a recent Reach podcast with Mark Greenwood, Mark explains how most of us doubt we’re doing that.
“One woman I met once was 34 and had turned around two failing schools in east Glasgow. She didn’t think that was significant to God, but actually she had changed hundreds of people’s lives and obviously made a big impact on her community,” he says.
He was working with a group of talented people in their 20s and 30s who were considered to be future workplace thinkers, writers, speakers and mentors, yet none of them thought they were doing anything important for Jesus.
“They thought the only way to be fruitful for God is volunteering at their local church, or through direct social action and evangelistic conversations,” he explains.
“Now, if you’re running a school, on an average day you’re not going to do any of those things. Neither will you if you’re working at McDonald’s. So the vast majority of people get to the end
of their day and think they’ve done nothing for Jesus.”
But what if you can get people to see things differently? To get excited about the potential of the places where they spend their time and what God might want to do there?
Church leaders can bring about this change with a focus on disciple-making – teaching people to walk in the way of Jesus in their contexts of parenthood, employees, spouses and more, Mark says.
For everyday Christians, being fruitful in daily life could mean modelling a godly character and bringing the fruit of the Spirit into various situations, he says.
You can minister love by getting someone a cup of coffee. You can stick up for truth in the face of gossip, defending someone who is criticised unfairly and offering a different view.
The impact of this can be seen over time.
“If you’ve stood up for truth for five years in a workplace or school, people will trust you. They’re more likely to believe in a God of truth or grace if you’ve forgiven them and been gracious, because they’ve seen it.”