In the previous article, we left off with 12-year-old Jesus on His own in Jerusalem while His parents are frantically looking for Him.
Well, of course, they do find Him—in the temple, participating in a discussion with some learned men of the scriptures (referred to as doctors). Despite His young age, Jesus holds His own in this discussion, asking questions that illustrate His understanding and also answering questions.
Mary comes upon this scene and begins to scold her son for worrying His parents. But Jesus cuts this off and responds with the famous quote:
“Wist ye not (Don’t you know) that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)
What kind of business is Jesus about? What is His Father’s business?
Put simply, it’s the business of saving souls in the kingdom of God. It’s the same business that we are engaged in today, both for ourselves and for others.
If one were to try to categorize this business by worldly standards, it might be referred to as a “non-profit” because we’re not making money. However, there is actually a very high profit potential in this business. After all, which is worth more — the entire world or even one soul?
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
This is not a hobby we’re engaged in — it’s a very high-stakes business!
The competition is fierce for these valuable souls. So, we need to maximize our chance for success (both personally and as a Church) by being as “businesslike” as possible in what we do for the Lord. This includes learning the business, developing our skills, and actually working for the business.
Learning the Business
Although no formal education or degree is necessary to be about our Father’s business, we do need to prepare ourselves by learning the Word of God. Please understand the importance of this. How far would someone go in the business world with no education? Would a hospital hire someone to be a doctor who had no medical training?
If we’re not familiar with the Word of God, we are flying blind and will be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14). In other words, we will believe what we read on social media or hear on the news and allow that to shape our thinking rather than being rooted in the Word of God.
Developing Skills for the Business
God blesses different people with different skills and talents such that His business includes all of the skills necessary for success. Some of those skills reside within you.
What does it mean to develop these skills? It means that we try to be as good as possible at our particular skill, such that the kingdom of God will benefit. Here are some examples:
Preaching: Yes, some ministers clearly have a gift for preaching a powerful sermon. However, all who are called to the ministry should do their best to seek inspiration from God and learn effective public speaking techniques such that we don’t miss out on any opportunities to deliver God’s word in a meaningful way to a congregation.
Teaching: Skilled teachers with engaging techniques can make a huge difference in helping our members and young people to learn the business. Any who are entrusted with this responsibility should be open to using whatever state-of-the-art techniques may be available today to enhance the learning process.
Testifying: You don’t necessarily need a lot of skills to give your testimony. But learning how to focus your testimony on praising God and not bringing in a lot of extraneous details will help others to absorb what you’re trying to share, whether one on one or when addressing the congregation.
Working in the Business
This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s good to be educated. It’s good to become more skilled. But we need to actually do the work—whatever work the Lord gives us to do—in order to help the Father’s business succeed.
As mentioned earlier, this is not a hobby so it’s not just something to fit in as time permits. The stakes are high, so we need to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith [we] are called” and give the necessary energy and priority to our work for the Lord.
I’ve always admired people who do a specific work for the Lord over an extended period of time. Rather than being quick to “step down” or “give someone else a chance” when the novelty of a job wears off, these people consistently add value to the Father’s business week after week, month after month, year after year.
That’s what we need in the Church—not so much stepping down, but more stepping up to play an active role in our Father’s business.
Are you in? God has not gone out of business (contrary to what some may think).
The profits (a.k.a. souls) are still rolling in, and the kingdom is being built.
If we work together, we will all enjoy the blessing of being part of our Father’s business—the greatest business of all time.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.