How can the average Christian serve the Lord?

Stephen Nichols & W. Robert Godfrey
1 Min Read

NICHOLS: One thing we could talk about is vocation. Before Martin Luther, if you were a monk, a nun, or a priest, you had a calling, but everybody else was just “putting in time,” so to speak. So, Luther came along and attached calling to our familial relationships as husbands, wives, spouses, children, parents, etc. He ascribed vocation to professions, every one I think, except bankers. I’m not sure Luther had much respect for bankers.

GODFREY: Or lawyers.

NICHOLS: Or lawyers. So, you just had to avoid those two fields. Luther was trying to say, however, that we’ve got to get past this notion of a too sharp sacred-secular distinction. I think that is a dimension to answering some of this question. We cannot hear “serving God” and immediately compartmentalize that into full-time Christian platform ministry. I love the doctrine of vocation, and I think that’s part of it. I think the other part is the Christian disciplines of prayer, faithful Bible reading, and faithful discipleship in the place God has put you. That is serving God. Sometimes we over-mystify or overcomplicate this when just simple obedience is serving God.

GODFREY: Luther also talked about the family as the school of character. I think family life, whether a small family or extended family, is where we are enabled to put Christian virtues into practice. It is where we have to confront that we’re not as virtuous as we thought we were. I am very patient when there is nothing to be impatient about. However, the minute I’m with family members who aren’t doing things the way I think they ought to, a level of impatience is revealed in me that is disturbing, more to them than to me, but still. So, the school of character is an important way of serving God.

This is a transcript of Stephen Nichols’ and W. Robert Godfrey’s answers given during our Blessed in Christ: Detroit 2021 Conference and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter.