“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)
In contemporary times, there has developed a false spiritual hierarchy of vocational callings. At the top of the hierarchy would be foreign missionaries, then those clergy and religious workers dedicated to full time church service then towards the lower end of the hierarchy would be business vocations which the institutional church looks to merely fund the ‘true ministry’ of those at the top of the hierarchy. I challenge this false hierarchy whenever I can as it is a 20-21st Century corruption. Scripture and Historical writers present a more balanced “Priesthhood of all Believers” perspective of how God calls all people to serve in their various vocations.
I recently was reading an old spiritual classic from the 1730’s called, “A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.” [by William Law, Westminster Press Edition 1948] This old classic has quite a bit to say about the Holiness of the Business vocation and how it is equal in God’s eyes with a Clergy calling. I find it encouraging that even close to 300 years ago, spiritual teachers recognized that those called to business vocations are just as important ministers – kingdom workers – as those in the ‘religious’ professions. I have excerpted several passages from this book for the encouragement of our Corpath membership to assist you in affirming your business vocation as Holy and pleasing to the Lord. So, with apologies for the archaic English, here are the excerpts:
“The profession of a clergyman is a holy profession, because it is a ministration in holy things, an attendance at the altar. But worldly business is to be made holy unto the Lord, by being done as a service to Him, and in conformity to His Divine will. (p. 32)”
“[Leaders] of worldly business, therefore, must not look upon themselves as at liberty to live to themselves, to sacrifice their own humours and tempers, because their employment is of a worldly nature. But they must consider that, as the world and all worldly professions truly belong to God…, so it is as much the duty of [leaders] in worldly business to live wholly unto God, as it is the duty of [clergy] who are devoted to Divine service. (p. 33)”
“[Leaders] may, and must differ in their employments, but yet they must all acts for the same ends, as dutiful servants of God, in the right and pious performance of their several callings.
Clergymen must live wholly unto God in one particular way, that is, in the exercise of holy offices, in the ministration of prayers and Sacraments… But [Leaders] of other employments are, in their particular ways, are as much obliged to act as the servants of God, and live wholly unto Him in their particular callings. This is the only difference between clergymen and people of other callings. (p. 33)”
Great wisdom from 300 years ago that affirms what many of you in Corpath intuitively know. That your business is a unique platform to do Kingdom ministry – that although different from Clergy ministry – is just as valid and holy.