“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'” Genesis 1:28 (NIV)
The idea that every Christian is a full-time missionary may sound new or at least like a fresh perspective. Why is that? As we will see throughout this devotional series, God’s Word makes crystal clear that each of us is called to make disciples of Jesus Christ no matter what job we have or where we live. So why does this concept sound new? I believe it’s because the Church has bought into three myths of missions which we will look to Scripture to refute over the next three weeks.
The first myth that the Church has subscribed to for some time now is that work is largely meaningless unless you work as a “full-time missionary.”
Have you ever felt like your work is less important or eternally meaningful than that of a pastor or “full-time missionary”? This feeling is so prevalent today, but the good news is that it is totally unbiblical.
Genesis 1:26-31 reminds us that work was a part of God’s original, perfect design for the world. In this passage, we see God commanding humankind to co-create with Him—to “be fruitful”—to “fill the earth and subdue it.” This is a call to more than just procreation. This is a call to civilization. It’s a call to cultural creation, to follow God’s lead in working to bring about things that were not there before.
If you open up Genesis 2:15, you will see that God put Adam in the Garden of Eden and called him to “work it and take care of it.” In verse 2:19, He invites Adam to give names to every living creature. God is calling Adam to be a ruler, a gardener, a branding agent—jobs that today we might be tempted to call “secular” or at least view as less meaningful than the jobs of a pastor or missionary overseas.
But here’s the truth: God called human beings to work prior to the Fall. Thus, all work is inherently meaningful and is a primary means by which we reveal the character of our Creator God and serve others.
Your work matters. Deeply matters. Do it with excellence today for the glory of God and the good of others.