Saturday, 31 August 2013

This is my job, that is not.

One of the most exceptional session at greenbelt this year was Milton Jones (@themiltonjones). There was one thing he said - and explored around at other points - that has really stuck with me.

I should point out that he was also very funny. I know that I appreciate his sense of humour,but his delivery is just exceptional, and even when I knew what was coming, it was still perfectly done. This also applies to material from his books, which he read out - I have read one of his books, and while it was very good, I felt it lacked some of his flare. However hearing him read it out brought the quotes to life.

However, the point he made was that his job is to be a comedian. His role and work as a Christian is to be a comedian and to express his faith through his job. That does not mean he only has to make "Christian" jokes, it means that he needs to express his faith within his work - and we may not see that. It may be that his faith expression is about his working attitude and environment, about his relationship with other comedians.

What it doesn't mean, as he made clear, was that he should do "Church Entertainment" evenings. In fact, as he points out, he never does "church" events, because that is not his job. He is not an evangelist, or a preacher, just because he is a "celebrity", and is experienced with standing up and talking to people.

I would push this a little more, and say that the job of a Christian is in whatever position they are in. It is not to support or sustain the church. That does not mean that they shouldn't, just that this is not the place that we should consider the primary expression of our faith.

Our job as a Christian is not to support the church. Our job is to be a person of faith in whatever work we have to do, or whatever role we have. We have to be a person of faith in our other life as well, and it is important to have life outside work (and church).

This means that, if you are clergy, your "job" is then to do the clerical work, managing the church, but that is not the definition of being a Christian for you. The Christian calling here is to actually be a Christian in that job, and to express your faith in the area you are in. That is not necessarily easy, but then, nobody said it would be easy.

There is something more in this: it means that we all have a job or a role. A job of "vicar" is no better - or fundamentally different - from a role of "refuse collection agent", or anything else. There are no spiritual jobs, the calling of all people is to express their faith within their jobs. If you want to find your calling, then start by being a Christian in the role and work that you already have. Then stop, because you have probably found your calling.

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