Editor’s note: Below is an article written by Kevin Miller, who first set me on the path of exploring the sacred-secular divide nearly three years ago. I reference that process here. -Gillian
The sacred-secular divide? There’s really no such thing for Christians, of course, although it exists in the minds of some sincere Christians.
The key question that everyone, everywhere, in any era must answer is: in which Kingdom are you a primary citizen? For the born-again believer, that would be the Kingdom of God. That’s Good News!
And the Christian has an extraordinary privilege: sojourner status and impact in the kingdoms of this world for the Kingdom of God. That means that the believer is called, each and every day, to impact his or her world for Christ, no matter what vocation or calling. There is no sacred-secular divide.
In fact, that’s the very plan of God. Pastors simply can’t get to every office building and manufacturing plant, to every truck stop and capitol dome, to every home and school in order to minister the Word of God in speech and deed. Instead, every believer—every Christian is in the priesthood, of course—is called to the privilege of being a robust witness for Christ.
This works—on a very practical basis—to proclaim the Good News in every nook and cranny in every nation, sooner or later.
If there is a phrase that should be banished in Christian dialogue, it’s this: “full-time ministry.” That’s because “full-time ministry” is typically used to indicate that some Christians are on a different (higher) plane of ministry than others. But what it really means is that the paycheck for the Christian in “full-time ministry” is formally issued by a church or visibly-Christian non-profit organization.
But God has a different plan—not only that every Christian is in full-time ministry, but that most Christians’ ministry is supported by employers and customers who have no idea that they are not only engaging a very competent individual in commerce, but that those resources are supporting a wise, timely engaging of the Gospel.
That’s why, on the first day of class in the Business 101 class at Colorado Christian University, I ask this question: who here is called to full-time ministry? Typically, only a few students raise their hands. We correct that misconception immediately, and then proceed to teach the art and science of doing business in the real world. The competence that results from such study undergirds the pioneering witness for Christ in the workplace. In fact, that’s a guiding principle at the School of Business and Leadership at CCU: “competence is the pioneering witness for Christ in the workplace.”
So, what about the sacred-secular divide? There’s no such thing. Christians are called to lead an uncompartmentalized life in Christ, regardless of their place of employment. What a privilege!
For more information on Miller, check out his Crossover Network here.