It wasn’t deliberate. It just happened. I simply thought it would be a good idea to interview them. After all, they were much loved members of our church who were going to be founding members of a totally new congregation. But I stood in awe as he answered my fairly ‘run of the mill’ question with a clarity, integrity and zeal that I’d not anticipated.
I actually found it quite moving.
As he spoke of their godly ambition to be part of a new church plant so that they could be intentional about reaching unbelievers with the gospel, I couldn’t help but think of Romans 15:20 where Paul says, ‘it has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation’. It was only as I read an article this week that I realised that we’d done something very sensible and very wonderful when we interviewed them. This article was all about dealing with wrong ambitions in the workplace (this is something from which I am not exempt). And (it suggested) one of the things we fail to do as local churches is to make heroes of ordinary people who are rightly ambitious to do extraordinary things for the gospel. The world takes care of making heroes of wrongly ambitious people in the workplace. And we tend to swallow that hook, line and sinker. But we don’t often ‘big up’ those who are all about the success of God’s kingdom. And yet we’d inadvertently highlighted an example of godly ambition. We hadn’t meant to. But his answer took care of that.
This is a man who is currently doing a job for which he’s hugely overqualified. He’s earning less than he has every right to expect. And he continues to look for work in a noble but fairly normal career. Humanly speaking there’s nothing about him or his career that shouts ‘success’. But he’s an example. To us all. Of godly ambition. His answer about deliberately wanting to re-organise his and his wife’s life so that they can share the gospel, models the kind of godly ambition that churches ought to celebrate and encourage. So pray that as churches we make as much of those who show us godly ambition as the world does of those who show ungodly ambition.