How To Be A Missionary Without Leaving Your Job

If you have been reading this blog for very long, you know that I most often write from the perspective of the Christian business owner or leader. Today I am writing about how to be a missionary without leaving your job. Instead of writing to the Christian business leader or owner, I am writing to those who are employees.


Missionary At Work?

For years, ministers and pastors have preached about heroes of the Christian faith that have left their “secular” jobs to go into Christian ministry – maybe even as a missionary. We are told they are no longer working for a paycheck, but are now serving the Lord in Christian ministry.

I am sorry if I offend you in this – especially if you have preached this before – but this is hogwash! To believe that you have to leave business or another professional industry before you can serve the Lord as a full time missionary is erroneous. It is simply not true.

Become A Missionary

Right now, right where you are, you are able to be a missionary. You can do full-time Christian ministry work right in the job you have – no moving required! You will have to change your approach, but not your location or employer.

Below are some steps I think you need to take if you want to make this happen.

Step #1 – Pray & Study

You may notice that virtually every first step I list in my blog posts has to do with prayer. Quite simply, that is because that is the best way to access the purest wisdom available to you.

In this case, I am suggesting you pray for several things from God. First, pray for the vision to see your job as a mission field. Pray that He would open your eyes to the harvest that is available right where you are. You can’t work where you can’t see!

Next, pray for a desire to grow in your faith and knowledge of Him and His Word. What you need is consistent time in His Word and an open heart and mind that can absorb AND apply what you read. Pray that God will give you a hunger for His Word so that you find ways to study rather than reasons not to!

Finally, pray that God will equip you for the specific ministry that He wants you to do. Don’t predetermine how this will look. There are innumerable ways for Him to equip you as a missionary because there are also countless ways for Him to use you in ministry on the job. Also pray for the faith to trust this equipping since you will likely face doubts when the time comes.

Step #2 – Look Around

In the spirit of the last part of Step #1, the next step is to begin looking around in earnest for opportunities for Christian ministry. Sure, you are still in the learning phase of your ministry, but you will eventually figure out that this phase never actually ends!

Begin looking at the people around you. These people could be your customers. They could be your co-workers or even your boss. Unless you work with weather balloons in Antarctica, you likely work around people! Even if your contact with them is mostly over the phone or by email, I promise you can influence them.

As you look at and study these people, look for their needs. If the people you work with are anything like the rest of the people on this planet, then they have needs! Some of these needs may not be obvious to everyone, but I guarantee you will begin to see needs that others cannot see.

Step #3 – Act

As a missionary, you are looking for opportunities to meet these needs in a way that conveys God’s love for them and points them to Him. Initially, you do not need to preach about your “Why” for serving them. You don’t need to do anything at all that explains your reasons. Just show love as you meet the needs.

This is the best part of being a missionary as an employee in your job. There are rarely, if ever, any company policies against this kind of behavior. Meeting the needs of others in a way that conveys God’s love will not get you in trouble with the HR department!

You don’t need a Bible on your desk or a cross screen saver on your computer. You don’t have to be allowed to pray out loud in a meeting or anoint anyone with oil. You can do exactly what you need to do within your employer’s guidelines!

No matter how restrictive your job happens to be, showing God’s love like this will be acceptable. So rather than hiding behind the “rules” of your employer as an excuse for not being active with your Christian faith at work, begin spreading God’s love today.

Meet needs in creative ways and allow the real joy that is in your heart to shine through. Eventually, the opportunity will likely present itself for you to share your reasons. When it does, God will give you the words and the timing. Trust Him for this. Trust Him for the results.

Step # 4 – Return To Step #1

Keep one thing in mind here. I am a strong proponent of digging into God’s Word for learning and equipping, but I am also in favor of acting NOW! Please start praying, reading, and studying now, but do NOT wait until you feel fully qualified before you start DOING Christian ministry.

Too many times, we make the excuse that we must know more before we do more. To some degree, this can be true. However, it can also be an excuse! Start acting in love and let God guide you AS you are also learning at the same time.

Pray – Learn – Act – Pray – Learn – Act.

Rinse, lather, and repeat.

If you are not already acting like a missionary at work, why not?

Do you see how simple this can be regardless of your restrictions?

What should be your next step?

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  • Great post Chris! We are called to be “salt and light” in our everyday life, not just when we decide it is time to put on our mission mindset. Wherever we are the power of the God is upon us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8)…

  • Tim

    5. Admonish the institutionalized leadership at church that pushes and guards the false notion that there is a “vocational dichotomy” between work life and church life that he is harming the body of Christ not equipping it. God has not designed believers to be silent while he lectures the Word in strict one-way communication and in complete perpetual dependency for decades or till you die. Eph. 4 God’s people are to “speak the truth in love” with “every joint” supplying to build up the body. Heb. 10 God’s people are to Draw near + Hold fast their confession of faith + Consider how they can spur on another on to love and good works. This is the “habit of meeting” believers are “not to forsake”. Eph. 5 Being filled with the Spirit is “speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…” There are so many more that the hired expert is completely nullifying when he insists that “equipping the saints” means lecturing to the saints. How does “preach the word” equal lecture the word. All believers are to be verbal participants in church and work, not merely at work.

    I know this is hard for the clergy to grasp because their tradition goes back 1000 years. I know lay folk like to coast into church with zero expectation that they contribute truth to the body. But it nullifies God’s clear instruction. Brothers, please “throw off the things that hinder and the sin that so easily entangles so you can run the race marked out for you…”