“Much of the positive Christian influence on me and my seminary friends was through people who thought that God’s most important task is world evangelism and that the most important thing we can do is tell people about Christ, help them become believers, and then teach and train them to be faithful to Christ, to lead and disciple others…
After several years of ministry, a friend of mine refused to stand up in church one morning when I called on everyone to stand as a way of expressing their desire to serve Christ sacrificially as Christ’s servants. He told me afterward that the way I described Christian ministry left out all those folks who were focused on trying to be God’s servants in the workplace and marketplace. I had become so intent on building up the local church, seeing it become strong and healthy and active, that I was apparently implying that’s all that mattered.
My friend got my attention.
I realized I had unconsciously developed a view of the ministry that was too narrow – too church-focused.”
-John Yates, Rector, The Falls Church, speaking at the commencement for Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, May 16, 2008