One of the criticisms I have seen of Christians attempting to engage publicly is that we are overstepping. For most people outside the church, Christianity is seen as a religion, a set of beliefs that you choose to believe. It is a private affair, and should not impact on anyone else. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the view inside the church as well!
In this mindset, the Gospel is a belief that Jesus died to save us from our sins so that we could go to heaven when we die.
This is such a poor description of what the gospel and Christianity is all about.
In fact, the gospel is the good news that Jesus’s death and resurrection signalled a disruption in human history, that changes everything: who we are, what we think, what we do, how we relate to other people…
Let us think about this from the concept of worship.
Worship is what we focus on, and give honour to. You worship what you think about all the time, what you make sacrifices for, what you love. When we think about worship, we tend to think about religious or spiritual things; but the reality is that often we give our attention to other stuff: our job, our money, our kids, our possessions…
As Christians, we need to worship God in the midst of everyday life. That is, we need to consider how all the mundane activities that occupy our time, the places where we are, and the people that we connect with, can be transformed by the gospel.
There are some great reasons why we should embrace this concept of whole-life discipleship. In doing it we acknowledge God’s sovereignty over our lives, and the whole world. It helps us to apply Jesus’ teaching and example to our whole lives. Jesus told stories about the workplace, he touched people, he went to weddings, he made jokes, he got upset about injustice, he spent time developing flourishing friendships... It helps us to access the empowering of the Spirit for the everyday activities, conversations and relationships that make up our lives.
What can you do to worship God in everyday life?
• Wash up (and every other activity) to the glory of God.
Now you may think this is too trivial to God. English author and church leader Tim Chester has written a short book titled: A theology of washing the dishes!
Your kitchen sink is a holy place. All you have to do is offer up washing of the dishes to God as a sacrifice of praise, sharing his delight in creation and serving others in love.
You can use these times of everyday activity to trace God's handiwork in creation, in the cleansing, in providing all we need.
You can use washing up time to talk to those in your house for pastoral care. This is not wasted time for God, you can honour him in the activity.
In washing up you restore order from chaos. You bring shalom.
• Think through your relationships and how they can more accurately reflect the kingdom.
How can we work with God in our relationships? Your family? Your friends? Your work colleagues? Your church family? Pray for people. Pray before conversations. Seek God’s best for the other people he has placed in your life.
• Ask God to reveal your stumbling blocks in walking closely with Him in everything.
What is holding you back from worshipping God in the everyday? Romans 12:1–2 says: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” So offer your whole self to God, including every thought, and word and activity. See what he can do with it. It will be so much better than what you can do by yourself.