The Christian call is more ordinary than you might think

The subconscious arrogance of an individualistic generation has infiltrated our churches and communities, and it’s killing our everyday faithfulness.


Lily Journey, Freelance Writer

“You were born to do great things. You are a culture-changer!”

Young people are constantly accosted with a message of intrinsic greatness. From the high school graduation speeches urging teens to “do big things” to the emotional youth group rallies that glorify “big sacrifices” for the advancement of the Gospel, our generation is subconsciously indoctrinated with an individualistic mentalityand it is killing our everyday faithfulness.


You have heard it beforethe heart-wrenching story of a young adult called by God to the mission field who selflessly abandons all modern comforts to evangelize in a remote village. But have you heard the story of the mother who wakes up early to fold the laundry and make breakfast for her sometimes-unappreciative kids? Missionaries, doctors and suburban parents are all divinely appointed agents of grace in this broken world, and each role involves sacrificial ministry.  

While the pulse-quickening narratives of exotic mission fields are often meant to inspire spiritual action, they often leave congregations with a very limited picture of Christian missional living that is actually detrimental to everyday faithfulness.  

For example, many Christians are medical doctors who meet the practical, physical needs of others. They are equipped to uniquely represent God’s power over sickness in a way that pastors cannot. If we limit the definition of the term “missionary” to full-time pastors who preach the gospel from pulpits, we imply that these “secular” careers are second-rate to more “spiritual” ones. Ultimately we find our identities in Christ first, not in the nuanced ways we display his name in our pursuits of missional living.


Humans long for outside affirmation. We have an intrinsic need to “be okay.” This is not merely a surface level cultural issueit is a human longing which our society has capitalized upon through social media. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat encourage us to verify our status among our peers through a highly filtered, self-perfected feed. Christians are not immune to this tactic of identity-seeking, and Luke 14 and John 3:30 challenge us to believe that the glory of God’s name is a far worthier pursuit than the advancement of our spiritual egos. We must be a generation that praises real-life, ordinary faithfulness over the aesthetic format of our perfectly filtered mission-trip photos.  

Professor of journalism and public relations Bill Simon sees this as detrimental to modern evangelism.

“Just be a faithful servant and do what God asks you to do, and it has nothing to do with the accolades of the world. That is the problem that Christians are sufferingthey want the praise and the accolades of the non-believers,” Simon said.


If our true “hope of glory” is Christ, we should use this time in college to train in daily righteousness. Let us not become so intent on collecting the most likes on our instagram photos that we forget to intentionally live vulnerably and humbly. Let us not become so enamored with getting “extraordinary” internships and an “extraordinary” job after graduation that we lose sight of the real, ordinary acts of grace commanded by Christ.  

Simon points out that “commonness” is not a word we like to attach to ourselves, but by simply living out our faith each day, we are “transforming our immediate surroundings,” and that this humble faith “holds back the darkness.”

“This is constantly being lost,” Simon said. “It’s not that we can’t achieveit’s not that we can’t have a healthy ambition but what is very evident is [that] it’s okay to live a life where no one sees things right off the bat because you know that in your everyday affairs you are being a just woman, you are being noble, you are being honorable, and God applauds this.”  

While I do not always feel supernaturally “called” to study late into the night an assignment, recognizing that my role as a student is an opportunity for missional living motivates me to complete my tasks in humble faithfulness. As we seek to accomplish great acts of justice and mercy to become culture-changers, let us first meet the obligations and responsibilities that are right in front of us.   

Jesus said in Luke 9:23-25, “‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?’”

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