Sideline Christianity

    I know that I’m not supposed to feel this way, but I often feel like as a regular working man, I am a sideline Christian. Do you know what I mean? Pretty much my role is to sit on the bench most of the game, maybe fill some water cups or something. Pastors, missionaries, christian authors, professors, etc. are all doing the brunt work of the Kingdom, and I’m just the guy on the sidelines.

    Now, like I said, I know that its not supposed to look like what I’m picturing here. Everyone has always told me that we need working men and women in their fields representing Christianity, to volunteer at local churches and organizations, and to support pastors and missionaries through their funding.

    But let’s be realistic about time for a minute here. I spent 40-45 hours at work every week. During that time, I’m primarily thinking about my job. My goal there is to do my work, and to do it well. By the time I get home, eat some dinner, spend some time with my wife, and take care of my house a bit, there’s not a lot of extra time in the day to do the extra volunteering at the church, or spend long hours talking about Christianity with friends.

    Contrast that with a pastor or a missionary, where they spend their work hours doing work for the kingdom. Think about what they can accomplish in a 40 hour work week! Their primary goals are to develop their relationship with God, and to share that with the people around them. (Though I’m sure there are many distractions that easily get in the way.)

    I guess that just leaves me with a lot of questions… How can I not be a sideline Christian? What should my faith look like in the working world? Where is it most important that my time go?

    I’d love to hear some thoughts from some of you. Do I have my ideas backwards? Have you had the same frustrations? Am I being clear? I’ll try to post again on this topic in the near future.

    12 thoughts on “Sideline Christianity

    1. I recommend beginning with the basics. Rather than spend countless hours wondering how to contribute to Christianity, first become familiar with its fundamentals. Too often people become so focused on their relationship with God and their place in the Christian world that they forget to ask some important questions. What inspires your faith?– the Bible? Your paster? What inspired the Bible and your paster? God? Says who?– the Bible? It’s questions like these that people too often neglect. I recommend reading my article “the bible is the inspired word of god.” It can be found on my blog.

      I strongly believe– I have faith– that if you reevaluate why you’re a Christian, you will no longer feel a need to contribute to Christianity.

      By the way, I really like your website. Is this your own design?

    2. I completely know what you mean. The really work of Christianity seems to be in the hands of the true professionals. There is only one problem that I have found, the “true professionals” don’t run into the people that I have worked with. The “true professionals” aren’t at my work or the bars and the people my work definitely don’t go to my church. There are very few people that cross the line.
      There you are, I answered absolutely zero of your questions. We will struggle through it together.

    3. In response to Jhames above, yep, this is my own design, thanks for the compliment!

      I’m a bit perplexed by your thought above though. Are you essentially purporting that if I actually stopped to think about why I have faith, I would wonder why I do? What you fail to understand is that no one is a Christian for one reason, but rather a combination of a lot of them.

      For example (in no particular order), I believe because of the Bible and the truths that I have seen in it, I believe because of my own logical thought process, I believe because of the people around me that have taught me what they know, and because I have experienced God’s work and help in my life.

      I have evaluated why I am a Christian, and reevaluated it many times. I have questions and doubts at times, but they do not shake my faith. My question in my post isn’t about why I believe, it’s about how I express that belief.

    4. Hi Jesse.

      thank you for sharing these thoughts. i am sure many people feel this way. i felt this way the entire year and half i worked at sacred heart. you are being clear.
      God will lead you to whatever you're supposed to be doing. if He wants you to get out of design and into something else, i'm sure it will be on your heart, and it will be a blessing to move into it in God's timing, for sure. this was how i came to leave the RN world. it was just time. and it was definitely a step by step process of prayer and decisions, etc, to continue in this missions-focused line of work.

      what ever God is leading you to do is what is Good for your life and where you will feel at peace, even if it is difficult. and i mean it's amazing what praying about it and being honest with God about what you're thinking and feeling will do. He will show you.

      whatever that is- the work and the people you are working with. it's all God's World, and though vision statements for companies and individual people range from humanitarian goals to profit goals to Kingdom goals, i believe that God leads anyone to any one of these areas, depending on who the person is and what season God wants to move them into. depending on if the person is really looking toward God or even if the person is like, a king cyrus, or whatever. dude. God is huge.

    5. i mean, life is much more awesome if a person is making decisions based on praying and hearing from God. and God is good and kind and patient. (this could open a whole can of worms about What Is God's Will, but it doesn't have to be complicated.) i mean, He says, Seek First the Kingdom. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He'll direct you. a man's heart devises his his path, and the Lord directs his steps. or as the message says of that verse, We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. ah! the goodness of God is overwhelming. i don't know how He works, but i know it is Love.

      i know what God means to your heart and life, and it is not a sideline thing. there have been and continue to be so many steps toward the pearl of great price in my heart and life. they have been choices, but God does not withdraw or add an iota of His Love based on what I do. this is something i learned last fall. i love embracing the Love of GodJesusHolySpirit.

      what do you think?

      i'll pray for you and Andrea to have clarity and peace from the Lord.

    6. Thanks for the great thoughts and comments on my post Rebecca! I appreciated the encouragement a ton! Its weird because I feel like that, and yet I don’t feel like I’ve been called into “ministry” per se. I’ll probably write on the topic again sometime!

    7. I don’t know you. I was sent to your site by a friend as inspiration for my future website. After reading the post, as a fellow christian, I must respond…and I’m a writer with an opinion. Bad combo. My initial response is that it’s a big kingdom. If Christ were physically present, I’m sure we’d be right there, side by side, following him wherever he would leads. But (you saw that coming), he’s not. We must follow his leading, trust in his promise and be confident in our path. You’re an artist, God has called you to that. Ephesians said that he gave some to be pastors, teachers, missionaries, etc. What about the rest of us? We will, as you stated, support them and their work while we do our work and, most importantly, do it well for the glory of Christ Jesus. Hopefully that’s not too preachy.

    8. Thanks John for visiting my site and commenting on my post, it’s always fun to have people interact and make comments on my posts. No, I don’t think you were too preachy! It’s weird as an artist, isn’t it? I guess its just taking a bit for me to considering that “a calling” (whatever that is) Sometimes I wonder how valuable that is to Christ… Still figuring all of that out, but I appreciated your thoughts a lot.

      I do freelance sometimes, feel free to contact me if you have something come up. I can’t always say yes because I have a full time job that can get busy, and I like spending time with my wife as well. But sometimes a project is the right fit.

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