Friday, August 12, 2011

Is My Business Labor an Act of Worship?

The word "ministry" carries different meanings depending who's using it and what's being described.
In the last decade, there's a movement among some workplace-based believers who pursue business labor as an act of worship.One of the names the movement carries is  Business as Mission (BAM).
People involved in Business as Mission, Workplace Ministry, "tentmaking", church planting, Kingdom Business Professionals, Great Commission Companies use the word ministry in a way that appears to carry  a different meaning than when the word "ministry" is used by clergy. Some clergy participating in BAM discussions cautiously explore what BAM people mean by the word "ministry".
Some questions they ask are:

Do you mean ministry alongside of your work to make money?
Do you mean ministry during work breaks with people you meet at work?
Do you mean ministry to the body of Christ by providing employment, so that those employed can do ministry?
Do you mean out-reach in the workplace so that you can draw them into a church somewhere?
Do you mean generating wealth to give to ministries?

To answer, I wanted to look at how the word "ministry" is used in the Bible:

The old testament uses three Hebrew root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":

Kahan - To  act  as  priest or mediator between God and Man, a ministry before God and men. For example, offering sacrifices.

Aboha - To labor in bondage or in service to a religious project such as a craftsman ministering by labor to build the temple.

Sharatch - to assist or serve alongside: this was the word used for Samuel when he first came to Eli as a child to minister in the temple.

The New testament only uses two Greek root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":

Hupo -  or rower, as in a ship a  low level laborer. God spoke directly to Paul at his conversion on the road to Damascus and said that his ministry was to be a "rower".

Leturgio  to perform religious or  priestly Service:

Acts 13:2 (worshiping, fasting, ministering before the Lord) 
Romans 15:16, 27 Gentiles churches ministering to  the Jewish churches financially
Hebrews 1:7, 8:6, 9:21, 10:11: When Paul was teaching Jews about the ministry of Jesus as mediator of the new covenant. He called that Jesus' ministry.

Business-based believers are saying that their activities in business are no less than leturgio ministry before the Lord, Acts of Worship.Financial support of other ministries is also part of their worship.

Apostles, Overseers, Elders, Deacons etc are a different question of service (ministry). For example, Diaconia by a diacano (Service done by a deacon) is used  for other acts of service or ministry to the body of Christ.


Under the new covenant, ministry is not restricted to clergy or to acts of church administration. Some people minister before the Lord in acts of worship by conducting business. Yes, they share their faith, do out reach and serve the body of Christ in many other way, too.

The clergy do litergio ministry to God, serving in the role of administration for  the body of Christ past, present and future. They sometimes do this full time.

Some believing entrepreneurs do literugio ministry to God by serving the Body of Christ, past, present and future in the role of the administration of business.

Neither is more is more anointed (Set apart) than the other.