Finding Your Frontline
I recently read a book called Fruitfulness on the Frontline by Mark Greene. The basic premise of the book is that God has given each of us a place to be faithful ministers of the Gospel – our frontline. Just as a frontline in a battle is that place where the army engages the enemy, a spiritual frontline is a place where Christians find themselves outside of their “holy huddle” and face to face with unbelievers. This frontline could be at the office, school, neighborhood, Boy Scout meeting, or even a Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family. Where ever God has placed you that you engage unbelievers, that is your frontline.
It should be noted that unbelievers are not our enemies, but rather the spiritual forces at work (world, flesh, devil) that hold our friends and neighbors captive to sin and death. That is our enemy. Our fight is to reconcile those people to God through the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we’re honest, however, that is not usually our primary focus on our frontlines. We’re usually concerned with tasks, assignments, having fun, or some other concern. None of these are bad, but that type of focus doesn’t make a lasting impact on the Kingdom of God, nor who will inhabit it for all eternity.
Where is your frontline? Where do you engage unbelievers? How good do you feel about the way you shine a light for Jesus there?
One of the wonderful reminders Mark Greene gives us is that many of us are already doing wonderful work on our frontlines without even knowing. Sometimes, we get so focused on what we’re doing at church – or what we’re not doing at church – that we simply forget that God cares as much about our 9-5 every weekday as he does about our 10-11 on Sunday morning. But God cares just as much about these weekday hours (or more?) as our Sunday hours.
The first great reminder is that simple – God cares about your whole life.
The second reminder is that we often times so narrowly define ministry and faithfulness that we miss out on what we’re already doing and how God is using us already. For many of us, the only thing that counts as ministry is what happens in the church or direct evangelism. But God cares about so much more than that. He cares about how we conduct our lives. He cares about justice and mercy. He cares about how we treat our kids. He even cares about expense reports and clients and product development and shipping infrastructure and homework assignments. He cares about it all.
This does not me we may not have room to grow. For example, if we’re neglecting evangelism, God cares about that, too. But let’s take encouragement from what we already do well.
If you keep your cool in a heated board meeting, you’re living out God’s Kingdom values. likewise, if you treat a fellow student with kindness who is usually excluded or made fun of, you are doing Kingdom work there. If you didn’t cheat a client, that’s God’s work.
Mark Greene shares 6 keys to faithfulness on our frontlines. I’ll note them here, and then take each in turn over the next few blog posts to explore how we can live faithfully in the places God has planted us. Each starts with an M (some a little more forced than others).
- Model godly character
- Make good work
- Minister grace and love
- Mold culture
- Be a Mouthpiece for truth and justice
- Be a Messenger of the Gospel
Let’s explore these together to see how we can be fruitful on our frontlines.