Last Sunday we prayed for two families who are leaving Providence Community Church to pursue business opportunities elsewhere.  A prayer we have prayed many times before as students, doctors, families, pastors, and church planters leave this local church to serve in, and sometimes to plant, other local churches.  While these times are always sad such transitions should be filled with rejoicing as we see that they have run the race and finished their mission in this place and are being sent elsewhere.  While various business, education, and countless other opportunities have led to these transitions is it not God who sends and sovereignly directs our lives?  Indeed these are far more than vocational transitions these are missional transitions.

With that in mind I want to challenge you to read the very brief Business as Missions, by Aaron Hanbury, of Southern Seminary.  The article begins, “The term “missionary” sometimes conjures up images of someone like a National Geographic photographer. Pocketed vest. Boots. A floopy-brimmed hat. But the missionary of the future may look more Wall Street than photojournalist.”  Indeed the missionary of the future may look less like some Discovery Channel explorer and more like the Busch family moving to Pennsylvania or the Sanders family moving to Florida or Chris moving to Chicago.

Albert Mohler explains the importance of business as missions saying, “I believe that business as missions will be the greatest growth in missions work of our lifetimes.”  This should not be a foreign concept to us at Providence Community Church our two founding elders were bi-vocational and all of our elders and/or their wives from that point forward have had to support themselves, and their families, by working a job.  This church is a model for business as missions.

But what does this have to do with the rest of us?  What opportunities do you have through your occupation?  Where could you move in North America or abroad through your occupation?  What promotion, or lateral move, or even demotion could you take that would lead you elsewhere to build new redemptive relationships among coworkers and business contacts?  Or even more convicting how are you failing to live missionally in your current location?  What opportunities are you presented with daily in the place God has sent you that you are failing to act on?

So while we are sad to see our friends go let’s celebrate the God who sends, their being sent, and let us support their mission in whatever way we can.  And dear friends I pray that you would view you move as a missional one, that you would see God’s hand of providence in all of life’s changes, and that you would diligently pursue opportunities to represent and proclaim Him in your new place of residence.  I for one long for the day that Providence Community Church, as we now know it, ceases to exist because God has spread its members abroad in this nation and among the nations.  I pray that you would consider how you might more faithfully make Him known here all the while considering how you might make him known abroad.

Christians are not distinct from the rest of men in country or language or customs. . . . They inhabit their own fatherland, but as sojourners; they participate in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign country is to them a fatherland and every fatherland a foreign country . . . . They live on earth but their citizenship is in heaven.

– The Epistle of Diognetus