Where Best Transformed: Sunday Services or Daily Life?

One of my favorite people in the world (and I have many of these) is a man who calls himself Clothman. He and a group of folks up in Missoula, Montana have been through an interesting transition from a more traditional congregational life to one that is more relationally based. For Glenn that meant transitioning out of vocational ministry as the pastor to secular employment as a school bus driver among other things.

Under the his penname, Clothman, Glenn writes a weekly newspaper column for local papers which provides a different and witty look at how God works in us and the world. Here’s a clip from his latest column, which offers a great reality-check. If you don’t get what he’s saying here, then you have an amazing discovery still ahead for you.

My re-entry into the so-called “secular” workplace has resulted in me growing deeper in my relationship with God and others than I ever did as a full-time pastor. I now so appreciate Eugene Peterson’s comment that one of his main objectives in life has been “saying and showing – insisting! – that the world of work is the primary context for spirituality – for experiencing God, for obeying Jesus, for receiving the Spirit.” He is absolutely right.

“Clothman, which does God use to shape us more: work or worship services?”

If someone would have asked me that a couple of years ago I would have answered: “Are you a couple of Cokes short of a six pack? Worship services, of course.” What else could I say, both mine and our church’s, primary resources were devoted to helping people grow spiritually via our weekly worship services.

What a transformation for me to now state that “secular” work has resulted in more “sacred” life change in my life than worship services.

Share this Post!

Related post

8 Comments
  1. Steve September 23, 2004 at 6:10 am

    I’ve always wondered about the whole idea of quitting our jobs to follow God by going into the ministry. Is it a big trick, another tradition of men, which tricks men with a zeal for God to separate themselves from the very environments where they could be the most effective and makes them slaves of an ineffective system? Is that what the following is saying?

    Stay where you were when God called your name. Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. I’m simply trying to point out that under your new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful "enslavement to God" you would never have dreamed of. All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.

    (1Co 7:20-24 MSG)

  2. Steve September 23, 2004 at 9:10 am

    I’ve always wondered about the whole idea of quitting our jobs to follow God by going into the ministry. Is it a big trick, another tradition of men, which tricks men with a zeal for God to separate themselves from the very environments where they could be the most effective and makes them slaves of an ineffective system? Is that what the following is saying?

    Stay where you were when God called your name. Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. I’m simply trying to point out that under your new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful "enslavement to God" you would never have dreamed of. All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.

    (1Co 7:20-24 MSG)

  3. Jason September 23, 2004 at 10:38 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. As a matter of fact, we do not need to manufacture situations to simply reach out and love others. Whether you feel God had led you to Nepal, your next door neighbor, a stranger on the street, someone in your workplace, or even someone in your own home, all you have to do is obey God and love them with whatever you feel God has placed in your heart at that time. That could be a simple hello, God bless you, telling them how nice they look, or even perhaps you have a desire to share with them about the love of Jesus. P.S. Keep the business/churchcard in your billfold!

  4. Jason September 24, 2004 at 1:38 am

    I couldn’t agree more. As a matter of fact, we do not need to manufacture situations to simply reach out and love others. Whether you feel God had led you to Nepal, your next door neighbor, a stranger on the street, someone in your workplace, or even someone in your own home, all you have to do is obey God and love them with whatever you feel God has placed in your heart at that time. That could be a simple hello, God bless you, telling them how nice they look, or even perhaps you have a desire to share with them about the love of Jesus. P.S. Keep the business/churchcard in your billfold!

  5. michille stocker October 20, 2004 at 5:00 pm

    We came from a very controlling church. The whole time we were there, you knew that if you weren’t doing what everyone else was doing, you were reprimanded. They would preach a lot about saving souls, but not many came in. I don’t know how to explain it, but there was a feeling of superiority, especially above the unsaved. Like we were better than them.

    The Lord was speaking to me about being a soul saver. I had a dream and it came true. So I pursued it. It involved reaching out to two people who were poor, dirty, and somewhat trouble.

    I brought them to the church. Everyone seemed excited at first, but as time went by these two people needed a lot of care and prayer. The leaders of the church began to discourage us from letting the come with us and even said things to them to discourage them. One lady,who was an elders wife, made a comment that next time I felt to reach out to someone make sure they were a rich drunk.

    Well, after much prayer and a lot of trouble from the church members our family left the church. It has been 3 years.

    It was hard to reach out to other people for a while, but the feeling of superiority has left. My heart cries out to the lost souls. I realize now the grace by which I was saved and I cry for that grace to reach those souls. Oh, but for the grace of God where would we be??

    I feel that now, as I have drawn closer to the Lord, my whole life is an outreach. I am a stay at home mom. But I see people everyday;shopping, sports, visiting others, etc. Jesus said "I do not come for the saved, but for the unsaved." That is so real to me now. When we attended the church I thought my goal was to minister, so I would try to give advice to other church members or pray for someone before I left church. Now I realize it’s my goal to let God have His way through me. Whatever that may be, whenever. To whomever.

  6. michille stocker October 20, 2004 at 8:00 pm

    We came from a very controlling church. The whole time we were there, you knew that if you weren’t doing what everyone else was doing, you were reprimanded. They would preach a lot about saving souls, but not many came in. I don’t know how to explain it, but there was a feeling of superiority, especially above the unsaved. Like we were better than them.

    The Lord was speaking to me about being a soul saver. I had a dream and it came true. So I pursued it. It involved reaching out to two people who were poor, dirty, and somewhat trouble.

    I brought them to the church. Everyone seemed excited at first, but as time went by these two people needed a lot of care and prayer. The leaders of the church began to discourage us from letting the come with us and even said things to them to discourage them. One lady,who was an elders wife, made a comment that next time I felt to reach out to someone make sure they were a rich drunk.

    Well, after much prayer and a lot of trouble from the church members our family left the church. It has been 3 years.

    It was hard to reach out to other people for a while, but the feeling of superiority has left. My heart cries out to the lost souls. I realize now the grace by which I was saved and I cry for that grace to reach those souls. Oh, but for the grace of God where would we be??

    I feel that now, as I have drawn closer to the Lord, my whole life is an outreach. I am a stay at home mom. But I see people everyday;shopping, sports, visiting others, etc. Jesus said "I do not come for the saved, but for the unsaved." That is so real to me now. When we attended the church I thought my goal was to minister, so I would try to give advice to other church members or pray for someone before I left church. Now I realize it’s my goal to let God have His way through me. Whatever that may be, whenever. To whomever.

  7. Wayne Jacobsen October 21, 2004 at 11:41 am

    Michille,

    I love your comments, your discovery and your freedom to live the life every day. Good on you, Sister! Isn’t it great just to be God’s kid every day in all you do and watch him spill over to others? It’s that feeling of superiority (which I knew all to well) that kept others from even wanting to listen to the things that are on our heart.

  8. Wayne Jacobsen October 21, 2004 at 2:41 pm

    Michille,

    I love your comments, your discovery and your freedom to live the life every day. Good on you, Sister! Isn’t it great just to be God’s kid every day in all you do and watch him spill over to others? It’s that feeling of superiority (which I knew all to well) that kept others from even wanting to listen to the things that are on our heart.

Comments are closed.