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Work with Your Hands

1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Over the years I’ve been a book salesman, lab assistant, construction worker, groundskeeper, guitar and algebra teacher, and a college professor. When I first started serving as a pastor, I felt that all these opportunities to work in the secular market place took me away from ministry. Now looking back, I realize that all these concrete, actual work experiences helped me connect with many different kinds of people right where they live.

One of the first missionaries to try to reach across all kinds of racial, social, and geographical barriers knew that one of the best ways to authentically connect with people was across a work bench, not from a pulpit lifted high above everyone else. When Paul came to the Thessalonians, he worked night and day, probably using his tent making skills (Acts 18:3), so that he didn’t have to ask them for any handouts.

“For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil among you. We worked night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached to you God’s Good News. You remember how devout, just, and blameless we acted among you who were choosing to believe. All of you know that we ministered to you like a father behaves with his children, exhorting, comforting, and solemnly bearing witness to challenge each of you to walk worthy of God, the One who is calling you to Himself, into His Kingdom and glory.”   1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Around the world in places like South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and China where the Gospel is being received in incredible numbers, many of those proclaiming the Good News are following Paul’s example. They are bi-vocational ministers. In fact, right here in the DFW area, many of my colleagues I’m teaching with are holding down not just two jobs, but sometimes three and four.

LORD, help me understand that Paul was effective because those he was seeking to reach didn’t hear him speak in a professional way in a sacred building. They witnessed his devotion, right action, and pure motives as he stitched tents together. Especially bless one of my fellow professors at Southern Bible who will connect with all kinds of folks this week as he delivers auto parts all over the metroplex.  

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!