Check out this excerpt from a blog post by Ryan Bolger on Workplace Evangelism and the Emerging Church:
“… I went on to describe a few of the changed practices of emerging church Christians (on their best days!). Because of an emphasis on Jesus and the kingdom, and the recognition that the sacred/secular split ought not exist, the perspective on workplace interaction changes dramatically (just as it does with the school, the neighborhood, the club, the pub, etc). Instead of a sole focus on individual evangelism with a possible invitation to church, the kingdom-minded person thinks within other categories. What would it look like if Jesus were here? What would it look like if the marginal voices here got a say in things? What would it look like if people were paid fairly for their work? … The kingdom-minded agent would look to embody God’s reign both in their individual responsibilities and in the corporation as a whole. … By serving as such a prophetic example, other possibilities for action become viable options within the organization.
This is a proclamation of good news that knows no bounds between sacred and secular. Evangelism becomes an invitation for others to live in this redemptive way as well — to embody servanthood, hospitality, and freedom in contexts that are anything but. Jesus is our example of transforming culture from within. By living in such a way, we demonstrate that God is just as concerned with our body as with our spirit, with what we build as with what we think, and with our world as much as with our sanctuary. “
First reaction: Good thoughts.
Second reaction: Oh no! Is this a path that ends in lots of ‘good people’ doing ‘nice things’ but neglecting any of the power and truth that comes from doing something because the love of Christ compels us?
Third reaction: No. Living a holistic life in Christ, breaking down the barrier between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’ and letting transformed lives loose in the world is a great thing. There may be people serving without a real connection to Christ, but there are also people speaking God’s truth without a real connection to Him.
I don’t believe this is only happening in what would be easily labeled the Emerging Church, though. I even know some leaders and participants in mega churches who believe deeply in these concepts and are living them out. A big Sunday service and small groups doesn’t necessarily keep someone from ‘getting’ whole-life Christianity.
But regardless of where the beliefs are, theory only matters to the extent that it affects our practice. Will this mindset impact how you – how I – live out a faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ on a daily basis? Will it impact not only what we say, but what we do and who we interact with?
Jesus told those he left behind to make disciples, and making disciples will involve speaking truth in love. But the Bible is also clear that another part of that pursuit to live like Jesus lived involves serving the least and being concerned for the hurting. Looking at Jesus’ life, he rubbed shoulders with everyone from high government officials to diseased lepers and outcasts.
So what’s your take away? What would it look like if Jesus were here? Not just in what I say at work, but what I do and who I serve …
Living like Jesus lived means changing more than just the words we say.