“Raise your hand if you’re going into full-time ministry.” This was spoken by the dean of the School of Business at the graduation dinner the December I finished college.
By Jessica Schroeder, Institute for Faith, Work and Economics
Having attended a Christian university, and knowing the context behind this question, I smiled and began to raise my hand, looking around me to see who else would catch on.
The professor looked around and continued, “You all should be raising your hands.”
He was charging the business majors, biology majors, communications, and education majors, among others, to view their future work – whatever it was to be – as ministry, because it was. He didn’t just want to see those graduating with degrees in theology, youth ministry, and biblical studies raising their hands. As followers of Christ, we were all going into ministry.
Ground gained (but the battle isn’t over)
This professor desired for our new class of graduates to understand that ministry is not relegated to “church work” or whatever is more explicitly and obviously furthering the gospel.
This faulty distinction that elevates “church work” over against everything else, commonly termed the “sacred-secular divide,” has been wreaking havoc in the church for centuries. Even though many of us have become aware of this divide and its effects in recent years, the deeper mindset behind this divide is still at work in other ways.