Faith and Work. Business as Mission. The Gospel and the Marketplace.
These are all phrases we throw around regularly in our discussion of how the Kingdom of God collides with our day jobs. It’s a big topic theologians and missiologists have wrestled with for centuries, people far smarter and more studied than I am.
But as we move The Stone Table forward, we feel the need to massage and craft this message into our own verbiage – not changing the eternal facts, just the way we present them. We’ve landed on three core arenas, the three “Greats” as I like to call them:
- Work and the Great Story
- Work and the Great Commandment
- Work and the Great Commission
Or to unpack it another way:
- Know the Gospel
- Embody the Gospel
- Proclaim the Gospel
Know the Gospel – The Great Story
If I asked you what the Gospel is all about, you might say “Jesus died to save me from my sins.” And while this is 100% true, it’s also incomplete. The holistic message of the Gospel is about much more than just saving me from hell, it’s about the reclamation of God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”
The metanarrative (the overarching storyline) of Scripture is a story – the Great Story – that is unfolding in four chapters: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. God’s perfect creation was marred by sin, and the whole Gospel tells the story of God reclaiming and restoring what He originally intended. It’s into this story that our small stories, including our everyday work, find their true meaning and place.
We must rediscover and retell this Great Story over and over again. We must learn it, relearn it, and pass it down to the next generation in its full glory and power.
Embody the Gospel – The Great Commandment
When we truly embrace the Gospel and its impact on our life, it changes everything. Because of Jesus, we no longer work to make a name for ourselves, we no longer work for the approval of God or those around us, we work from the place of “it is finished.”
When we find our stories in the redemptive story of the Gospel, our work – big or small, whatever it might be – can focus fully outward on others where it was always intended. Because of Jesus, our day jobs give us the perfect opportunity to love God and love others every day, the fulfillment of the Great Commandment (Matthew 22).
Proclaim the Gospel – The Great Commission
When Jesus went from town to town, village to village, he healed people and proclaimed the coming Kingdom of God. He focused on their physical need and their spiritual lostness. Why these two things seem to be setup as opposing objectives I do not know. But I assure you one thing, the Great Commission is not just for professional missionaries and those called to live in cross-cultural contexts, it’s a mandate for all Christians.
We believe missions is a calling to take the message of Jesus where the Church does not exist. The marketplace gives us a beautiful avenue to engage this mandate, both financially and through business itself as a missions expression. It is the perfect mechanism to proclaim the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
The Great Story. The Great Commandment. The Great Commission. The three “Greats.” This is how we’re beginning to formulate our work here at The Stone Table. We welcome you to pull up a chair and find your seat.