An engineer, a vet and a missionary walk into a bar, and thus ensues a farfetched conversation eventually followed by a corker of a punchline which nobody saw coming.
That’s how the story would go if written by a stand-up comedian. However, a more realistic conversation might go something like this:
“I really admire what you do”, says the vet to the missionary, “giving up everything here to live in another country. I’ve thought about it but, I mean, I’m a vet. What use is that to God? I don’t have any language qualifications and I’m much more used to being out in the British countryside than somewhere warm and dusty.”
“Yeah, same here”, says the engineer. “I’d love to go and live abroad, and the idea of sharing the gospel to unreached people is really attractive… but if God wanted me to be a missionary he’d have sent me to Bible college instead of leading me to a degree in engineering”.
Sound familiar? Perhaps these thoughts are echoed in your own heart, whether you’re a teacher, a builder, an accountant or an entrepreneur. Or maybe you’re studying at the moment and struggling to see how the Lord might use you. I didn’t quite catch what the (fictional) missionary said in response to her friends, but I imagine it went something like this:
“Actually, in some countries qualifications like yours are exactly what we need. People who are well qualified and can get visas to work; people who could go to a Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist country and use their vocational skills as a tool for the Kingdom. You could use your veterinary skills to set up your own practice – think how many locals you’d connect with each day! And as for engineering, there are loads of countries crying out for those kinds of skills. If you got established you could work with the local government somewhere, and who knows what kind of opportunities that might open up for the gospel!”
The vet felt sheepish. The engineer still thought this might be a bridge too far. But both had their eyes opened to opportunities to use their skills for the Kingdom in a way they’d never seen before.
Why not dedicate some time to praying, asking God how he might use your qualifications, skills and gifts? And why not ask around and see what opportunities there are, whether short-term or more permanent? Whatever your area of expertise, you might be surprised how valuable you’d be!