Being a bivocational pastor is simultaneously the greatest and hardest thing that I have ever been a part of.
On my desk at work (my full-time job at a local factory), there is a montage of Pop Funko vinyl bobbleheads. Yes, I know … that sounds kind of silly, but my display is pretty epic (or so I think). I started with bobbleheads from Star Wars episode VII last year, and have added several figures from the recent Rogue One movie.
At this point, if you are thinking that I am a geek…. well, you might have an argument there. But it is all in fun… and one of the best parts about these inexpensive bobblehead characters is that they have started more conversations at work than I can count. Conversations that ultimately, and purposefully, have led to deeper discussions about “good Vs evil”, “light Vs dark”, and even the importance of following Jesus.
Yes, you heard correctly. Vinyl bobblehead Star Wars figures have led to conversations about Jesus. Many of these conversations with people that I would not otherwise be engaged with in that kind of deep, meaningful discussion. How is this possible?
Well, certainly the overarching theme of the Star Wars movie franchise lends itself to a discussion about the fallacies of the “dark side” and the merits of the “rebellion”. But that alone has no power to engage and even transform people’s hearts. So if it is not true movie “genius”, what could it be?
Being bi-vocational simply lends itself to increase opportunities for me to share the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. And I would not have it any other way ….
I firmly believe that God has called us to be exactly where we are…. today …right now. And somewhere around us, there is a heart that is searching, desperately, for the “meaning of life”; someone who has a hole that they cannot fill – no matter how hard they try. It sounds cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true; God will use you right where you are to reach people for His glory.
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
When I read the words of Jesus in John 13, I am both humbled and challenged all the same time. His answer comes just after He has demonstrated His love by washing the disciple’s feet. This dirty, menial, unflattering, and unenjoyable job was completed by our Messiah, our Lord and Savior, the creator of the universe!
This act perfectly demonstrates verse 34, we must “love one another”, right where we are. God has placed us here, let’s not waste it!
But it is verse 35 that challenges me more than anything else. Jesus says (and I am paraphrasing) that we are to love so extravagantly and so deeply, that those around us would have no recourse except to readily acknowledge us as followers (or disciples) of Jesus! What an amazing challenge!
I think about this verse a lot, because, as you may imagine, there are days when I don’t feel like loving extravagantly. I might be at work and be stressed out with deadlines that are looming and projects that are unfinished. I might have kept to myself all morning and really have not engaged with anyone that day. I might be so involved in my “vocation” that I miss my calling (to make Christ known).
God’s Word reminds me that it is by my “extravagant” love, not my super cool bobblehead figures, that others will know that I am a follower. Would you pray for me that I might do a better job tomorrow in loving extravagantly than I have today? I will pray for you that God’s Word will challenge you to do the same.
I love you all,