Jesus has called us to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). In missiological circles, we talk about the folks who live in the “10/40 Window” (the band from 10-40 degrees north of the equator). Most of the unreached peoples of the world live within that band. Many of your class members will never encounter those folks. However – your class members will encounter the people who live in the 9 to 5 window! We can be used to reach them. This lesson will bring our entire study to a conclusion. This will be a time of encouraging believers to seize the opportunities for ministry available to them both at and through their workplace.
“Did you know your work is your calling? I don’t know if anyone has told you this, but it’s true. You may have previously thought that only pastors and church leaders have a calling from God, but I want you to know that you are called by God to do what you are doing in the workplace, and the work you are doing is very important. I want you to feel affirmed in this calling, and to know that you have been anointed to do the very work you are doing in the marketplace.
The Bible confirms this in Colossians 3:23-24: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Did you know that the 9-5 window, or the time that we go to work each day is one of the most important mission fields in the world today? The workplace is where you will spend 70-80% of your time. Because of this, it is very important that you see your work as a calling. You will have the keys for solutions to problems that many people face, because you have fellowship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I like to call these types of people ‘change agents.’”
– Os Hillman, Your Work IS Your Ministry, Market Place Leaders,
1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
Much has been written in the mission world about the 10/40 Window – that band from 10-40 degrees north of the equator – that reaches across the world. Well – how about the 9 to 5 Window? What about reaching people in the workplace in America? How are Christians being used by God to minister to others in the workplace? How can we be used more effectively? How can we better embrace the view that we are God’s emissaries to the boardrooms, offices, manufacturing plants and workrooms across America?
WEEKLY READINGS OVERVIEW
So – we conclude our study of “work” by reading Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. Notice that Paul mentions their work and labor in 1:3. Paul encourages them to keep working (4:11-12). He offers them an eternal perspective as he reminds them of the eventual return of Jesus to this earth (4:13-5:11). This church was filled with people who worked in Thessalonica and were messengers of the Gospel to their community. We can learn from their example. You might want to go back and read Acts 17:1-9 to remind yourself of Paul’s original ministry in this strategic city. Now – look for clues as to how you can mature in your faith and be the messenger of the Gospel of peace in your workplace. How can God use you to reach the 9 to 5 Window in the Metroplex? Your work is a ministry and you are a minister in it!
ISSUES/QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS
1. How can God use us in the workplace as ministers?
2. How can we worship God and reflect His glory through our work?
3. In the Bible, God often met people while they were at work. What are some examples of that happening today? Has God ever revealed Himself to you at your job?