Summary: Part of an ongong series that deals with enables people to serve God now, in thier community with ones workplace as one option. In this message I teach people a gentle method of evangelism at work.

April 17, 2005

Pastor Richard Pfeil

Serving God in the Marketplace

John 8:1-11, 1 Peter 2:21-25,

Mark 5:18-20, Matthew 4:18-20

Heavenly Father, we live in a world in which it is not easy being a believer; it’s not easy trying to maintain patience; it’s not easy maintaining integrity; it’s not easy doing the right thing sometimes, when everyone else seems to get ahead doing the wrong thing. It’s not easy pushing back our passions, our desires, our appetites, when everyone else just seems to let them go. It’s not easy living by faith, the whole world cries you are missing out on something, you are missing out. What we are missing out on are things like guilt and dysfunction, lack of meaning and lack of hope. We are missing out on lots of self, missing out on a lot of bad stuff which is just fine, Lord, help us and give us strength to conduct ourselves in such a way that we bring honor and glory to your name. In times that we fail (and we all fail), Lord help us to get up. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

As you come in prayer, what is God’s response? I just love what God says concerning Jesus, 1Peter says, “He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him he did not retaliate, when he suffered he made no threats, instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed, for you are like sheep gone astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of us all.” It’s wonderful to know that God always receives us back; that’s the wonderful goodness and grace of God.

That’s kind of what we are going to look at today - about how we can share that goodness and grace of God that we have experienced, with others. Last week we changed our focus from God’s internal, interior work, which we call discipleship, to God’s exterior work which we call outreach, or simply being a witness to him in the sphere of our influence. Last week we talked about one opportunity for God working through us. In outreach to our community is the potential for a Youth ministry, reaching out to young people in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our church through youth groups. One thing I forgot to mention is another thing you can do to bring youth to Christ and that is to bring them to youth group. Am I right Susie? I left it out last week, bring them to youth group, so if you haven’t brought your kids to youth group, I encourage you to do so. They will have a wonderful time, I have a child (and it’s kind of a complement), who wanted to stay home and be with Daddy. That’s a complement, but she went to youth group at church. A couple of weeks ago she said Dad, I don’t know what was in my mind as to why I didn’t want to go to youth group, I’m just having a wonderful time. So I encourage you to bring your young people to youth group.

Today we are going to look at another often overlooked area of ministry that has real potential for a lot of people. It is a place where we will spend 65 percent of our waking lives. It is a place where there is already a lot of people who have not yet made a commitment to Christ, and it is the same place where you have some longstanding relationships. And what is that place? (Yeah it’s in the bulletin). Work. Or you can say school if your workplace is school. If you have been praying for a ministry and you haven’t heard God answer, the answer may be that he wants you to minister right where you are - right at school or at work, and it fits Scripture perfectly. Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them in whatever I commanded you, and surely I am with you until the end of the age.” Now one thing you may not know: in that text there is only one verb, the rest are participles. One verb, and what do you think the verb is? Is it go, or is it make disciples? It’s make disciples. Go is a participle which means it’s important, here’s what it says, it’s not a command to go anywhere it’s a command to make disciples. So wherever you are as you go, wherever God sends you, make disciples.

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