It is an important truth that work in the marketplace is just as important as work in the church.
Nonetheless, sometimes saying this doesn’t necessarily feel right. For example, we can easily think something like this: “But work in the church seems more directly connected with issues of eternal salvation, so how can that not be more important?”
Part of the answer lies in recognizing that the gospel is not just about individual salvation, but also entails the renewal of all creation. So even the work we do in the secular arena is connected to God’s ultimate work of redemption. Further, all work is equally valuable because all work can be done as worship.
But I think another key part of the answer may also be this: when we say that work in the marketplace is of equal importance to work in the church, sometimes we can unconsciously interpret that to mean that work in the marketplace is more important than work in the church. We can almost hear this great truth as a diminishing of church work rather than an elevation of marketplace work.
If the equality of all vocations is taken to subtly mean that church work is less important, that should feel off-kilter. But when we recognize that the equality of all vocations truly means the equality of all vocations, we see that it is an affirmation of the significance of church work just as much as it is an affirmation of the significance of marketplace work.
This is a very liberating reality. If you work in ministry, what you are doing is incredibly important. And if you are working in the marketplace, what you are doing is also incredibly important. The equality of all vocations means that both marketplace work and ministry work matter immensely.
The equality of all vocations is a radical affirmation of the significance of work in the marketplace as well as work in the church.
So no matter where you work, be encouraged and know that your work has immense value.