Every action has at least two participants – the performer and the audience. When I drive to work, I’m driving and everyone else on the road is watching, they are my audience. When I go running in the morning, I’m running and the rest of the nearby world is my audience. In these instances the world probably isn’t paying all that much attention to me, but that’s besides the point: there is a performer and there is an audience.
When the Christian goes out to serve, who is the audience?
If you said “God” or “Jesus” then that is the “right” answer.
Scripture tells us to do everything as unto the Lord. If I’m running reports I’m not doing it for my boss, I’m doing it for the Lord. My boss benefits, but really I’m doing it for God. When I go hand out water bottles on hot days I’m not doing it for thirsty people, I’m doing it for God and thirsty people are lucky enough to be around to benefit.
But I want to challenge this idea. Not the excellence that “do everything as unto the Lord” suggests, but I want to challenge the idea of who our audience is. And I challenge this because a question has been nagging at me lately that I just can’t shake: does God really care what I do for him?
If that question outrages you then I need you to listen to this next part really carefully ok? Take a deep breathe, get your blood pressure down and read the next sentence.
God doesn’t care what we do for him – He cares what we do with him.
See the change in prepositions there? That’s the key part. He doesn’t care what we do for Him; He cares what we do WITH him. Is this an absolute? yes.
Many will say to Me in that day “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in Your name and done many wonders in Your name?” and then i will say to them “Depart from me your workers of iniquity for I never knew you.” ~Mt 7:22-23
When we think of ministry as something we do for the Lord, when we start doing the stuff for the Audience of 1, as noble as it is, we miss the point. God doesn’t want our service. God doesn’t want us to work for Him or to stand in the spotlight for Him. God doesn’t want us to labor for his sake. He DOES want us to work with him.
Jesus said “Very truly i tell you the son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he see his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.” ~John 5:19
So the next time you serve, don’t ask “who’s my audience?” The whole world is your audience. Better to ask “Where’s the star? where’s the leading man? where’s the stage manager to give me my cue? Where’s my Father?”