My wife is an amazing woman in so many regards. She is most comfortable, though, in a classy dress and 6-inch heels, in an office, working with a spreadsheet. She has been my secretary since shortly after we started the church in 1997, and her office, complete with three monitors, two computers, copier, Cricut machine, laminator and Keurig, has her personality indelibly stamped on it.
A setting like that is her comfort zone.
Late in 1997, though, the old church building needed a new roof, so I reroofed it. By the time I got to the ridge cap, though, it was clear that a nasty storm was rolling in and I might not get it done in time. And then I heard the ladder rattling. I looked down at it, and Dana, heels and all, was climbing onto the roof. I can only wonder what people thought as they drove by and saw the sweaty, nasty guy in grubby clothes and the lovely fashion-model-like secretary feverishly working together on a roofing job.
Several years later, a few men and I built our 10,000-square-foot church and then a 10,000-square-foot family life center. We did every piece of it ourselves. The church took us two and a half years; the family life center took us four years.
While putting the roof on the family life center, we had to hoist seamless metal roof panels more than 35 feet long into place. This required a few men on the roof and someone on the ground to operate a huge piece of equipment called a Lull, or Extenda-boom. And on the day in question, we were one man short of what we needed, so I made a quick call to the office.
"You need me to do what?" was the incredulous reply on the other end. But a few minutes later, there she came, once again in a dress and high heels. After giving her a 15-minute crash course (no pun intended), my dear bride spent the next several hours operating a piece of heavy equipment and doing so like a pro.
There is a point to all of this.
Looking at the decay of our society, the debauchery running wild, the growing antagonism toward God, the disdain for all of the things that made us the most blessed nation on Earth for so long, the most common question I hear Christians ask is, "But other than pray and win souls, is there anything I can even do about it?" And the answer is, yes, there is. But it is going to require Christians to be willing to step out of their comfort zones.
Most Christians want to live a simple life. They want to grow up, get married, have kids, work a steady job, go to church and one day retire. And while there is nothing in the world wrong with any of that, the fact that Christians overwhelmingly pursue that kind of life while others pursue the cultural pulpits of the land is a recipe for disaster. People who lean so far left that if they shuffled a half step farther, they would be left of Satan himself, seem to more commonly pursue careers in teaching, politics, entertainment, law and other positions of influence over the lives and thoughts of others.
If Christians want to see our land revived, we need to consider stepping outside of our comfort zones and into some cultural pulpits. Here are a few suggestions.
* Education: Become a tutor. Volunteer to coach or serve somehow. Take your expertise in math, science, history, English, whatever it is, and lend it to a Christian school. The pay will be low, but the rewards will be high. Every church has people who are experts in these fields — some of them retirees, some of them up-and-coming educators — who could have a huge impact on the culture by making sure these kids and their families are expertly taught in a godly environment. You could also consider taking your expertise and your godliness into the public school system, though you will need to be willing and prepared to speak unflinching truth and pay the price for it.
* Politics: Go into local politics. Run for the school board. Become a councilperson or commissioner or mayor or what-have-you. You say you are concerned about political shenanigans and the possibility of election fraud? Fine. Volunteer as a poll worker or poll watcher. Become a delegate.
* Media: Pursue a career in news media, perhaps the most powerful of all cultural pulpits. Newspapers are still vital, and their budgets are tighter than ever; be willing to work for one for lower pay than you could work elsewhere just because of the influence you can have in so doing. Become a reporter in print or on-air, and report truth, no matter how angry the pushback. Even consider taking your singing voice or acting skills and becoming an entertainer who keeps it all clean and does not shy away a bit from doing so overtly for God's glory.
* Law, medicine, business: Become a lawyer, and be a force for truth, righteousness, goodness. Give your time pro bono to causes and people who are worth fighting for. Become a judge, and hold to the actual Constitution without wavering or apologizing. Go into medicine; refuse to have anything to do with abortion, discover cures for the good of all mankind and give God all the glory. Start a company that gets a reputation as a distinctly Christian business. Have prayer time and Bible devotions each day open to anyone who desires to participate. Grow that business into a huge success, and then turn around and use that money to fund worthwhile causes for Christ.
Step out of your comfort zone and into a cultural pulpit.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2knowhim@ cbc-web.org.
Chattanooga's New Hope Presbyterian Church completes move to more residential area of Shallowford Road