Sermon Illustrations

Making the Workplace a Ministry

Priscilla and Aquila are regular people, with regular jobs, but the impact that they have for Jesus Christ goes beyond many who were called to full time ministry in their day.

I have a friend back home, Michael. Michael is without a doubt a man with a call from Jesus Christ into ministry. Michael ministry is owning and running an auto body repair shop. Running an auto body repair shop may sound like the farthest thing there is from a church, but truly, Michael runs his auto body repair shop like a ministry, because it is a ministry.

Michael will always arrive early to his auto body repair shop and spends some time alone praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit for the day. Michael prays specifically for each of his seven employees and their families, only then is he ready to work. Michael’s employees have little idea he is even praying for them as Michael makes sure he is alone during this time. Then, after the business opens, Michael keeps his eye open for opportunities to serve the Lord Jesus, and they come at him relentlessly.

Dealing with angry customers in a godly way, dealing with difficult insurance companies in a way that honors Jesus Christ and through it all answering the call Jesus has placed upon him. This a part of ministry at his shop.

There is the single mother without insurance whose car he quietly repairs for free or the used car he takes a loss on so someone will have something to drive to work. When an employee has a death in the family, guess who pays for the funeral or the reception? Or, when an employee is seriously injured, who is it that pays the man’s salary for the full year he is in recovery? Michael of course.

Michael was telling me that he learned years ago that when he did something that others would regard as business suicide or going too far to help someone financially, somehow, things would always be covered. For example, when times were tough in the auto body repair industry and many people were losing their businesses, somehow, he always had enough work to keep everyone employed. Or, when he would fix a car for free, the costs would be more than covered by a specialty paint job that appeared out of nowhere. Michael is trained and certified by Ferrari in auto painting and so he will have people from all over California come to him to paint their collector cars.

Michael’s employees know he is a Christian, and they see and experience his ministry everyday. Customers will routinely take him aside and ask why the invoice they just received is less than the original estimate and they learn about Christian honesty and integrity. When a car repair is done for free, or a car is pretty much given away, folks always insist on speaking with Michael and in bewilderment ask, “Why?”

It would be safe to say that more people have been blessed by Michael’s auto body repair ministry and more people have come to know the Lord Jesus through Michael’s auto body repair ministry than in the combined ministry in the majority of churches in his town.

Michael is called into ministry, yet he is not a pastor, prophet or missionary. You are called into ministry, and possibly a ministry more effective than any church in this city.

From a sermon by Peter Loughman, Employment: Making your job a ministry, 2/9/2010

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