International (MNN) — Do you have a passion for ministry, but don’t know where to start? Are you looking for ways you can use your gifts and interests to serve Christ?
According to Operation Mobilization President Andrew Scott, answering these questions isn’t as hard as you think. In his new book, Scatter: Go Therefore and Take Your Job With You, Scott “sounds a call for a new era of missions, one that uses the global marketplace for Gospel growth and sees every Christian — engineer, baker, pastor, or other — as God’s global image-bearer.”
“If we don’t know who we are, it’s hard, if not impossible, to be who God made us to be,” Scott says. “So we have to start there. And then I think from there…you work out the purpose and work out how God has made you.
“I lay this out in the book, certain practical steps of understanding, ‘What are the abilities God has given you? What are the passions He’s put in you, your experiences He’s allowed you to have, and the gifts He’s given you through the Holy Spirit?”
Understanding this, Scott says, is the key to effective ministry. He says the idea of missions has often been skewed — people think they need to give up their talents and interests in order to make a difference for Christ. But, Scott explains, that’s not the way God made us.
“People struggle, because we’re asking them to leave very often what they’re good at, what they’re passionate about, what they believe God actually created them to do, whether it’s an engineer or being a doctor,” Scott says.
“So many, especially of this generation, believe that’s what God made them to do, yet we’re saying if you want to do missions, you must give that up and go do something different that fits in with our program, and often they find that they struggle to do that. That’s not how God created them to be.”
This concept is what inspired Scott to use the idea of scattering. Scott explains how in the Old Testament, God scattered His people because they refused to live in relationship with Him. In the New Testament, Jesus commanded believers to go spread the Word, and they they refused. When persecution came, they finally scattered.
“The early believers just went with their jobs, with whatever they were doing, and they started that up in the new community in which they existed, and just lived out their life in those communities and shared the Gospel in doing it,” Scott says.
“Really what I’m asking in my book Scatter, or encouraging, is, ‘What if we as a generation would scatter, not because we had to, but because we chose to? To go take the image, the glory and goodness of God to the nations until every nation, all of these unreached people, had an opportunity to see, hear, and know of Jesus.”
Scott says the first step in this process is to start where you are. When you go to work tomorrow, he says, make sure your life reflects God’s glory and goodness.
The next step, he says, is to consider bringing Christ to an unreached group in another part of the world. OM can assist in this process by helping you find a job and community of believers to get involved in.