Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thank You For the Work You Do!

Often, people thank me for the work I do as a missionary.  I get it, living and working in Kenya can be very difficult and a hard life for most to imagine.  But, I never really know how to respond well, other than to smile and say, "thank you."  I almost feel like I should thank them back for what they do.  I always want to take the conversation deeper and remind them that in God's eyes, they/we are all called to fulfill a unique, special purpose.  Whatever that looks like for them, it is very important to God.

Does our over-inflated views of each other's work come out because we are not yet fully living out our God-given purpose or do we forget to stay on course?  Of course God has seasons for us and might not have just one single purpose or career for us.  I have had jobs and times where I was not feeling any purpose in my work.  It took close friends and mentors to get me out of those valleys.  I still sometimes wish for a 9 to 5 with a steady paycheck; but that fades quickly when I again treasure what I get to do.  For now, it has to do with serving in Kenya, which I humbly feel privileged to do.  I live recognizing that tomorrow  all that could change and God could lead me elsewhere.

This video below, "Forming Fully Christian Workers," is what got me thinking about this.  Are you searching for more meaning in your career?  Is your church and pastor supporting and encouraging you in our vocation?  How can you refocus your current job for the sake of the Gospel - to be Kingdom focused?  For some it might be time to change careers and do what God has called you to do.  It doesn't mean that you should be a full-time missionary and that God will send you to Africa, but maybe it does.

Check out this great resource and pass it on to your pastor: madetoflourish.org   Maybe we should all thank and support one another more often for the work and careers we perform.

Pastor Tim Keller gives good thoughts here regarding this topic.  A true disciple understands their Christian vocation and purpose.   It ties together with my last few posts regarding the "Pastoral Circle" and providing access to the marginalized in our own communities.

By the way, thank you for believing in the work we do in Kenya.  Your "thank yous" are encouraging and meaningful.  The awkwardness is my own issue to get over.  Let's do this together!

To our partners, thank you for the work you do.  If you are not sure about the purpose it gives to you,  know that your careers are in part what allows you to give and support missionaries and ministries like ours.  In my world, that is being very Kingdom focused and giving for the sake of the Gospel.