During World War I many of the battles were fought in what was called, Trench Warfare. Opposing armies would dig deep trenches and exchange fire over what was called, “No Man’s Land”. It was a brutal form of combat. In this kind of warfare grenades were launched over No Man’s Land hoping they would land and explode in the trenches of the enemy. This caused great devastation and death.
Someone had an idea how to stop the incoming grenades. They called for soldiers who shot skeet in civilian life. These soldiers were issued shotguns and positioned to shoot incoming grenades out of the air. Some of the grenades would explode midair and others were deflected enough to fall and detonate in No Man’s Land.
In World War II some of the B-17 gunners were trained to hit the moving targets presented in aerial combat by riding in the back of a bouncing pickup truck with a shotgun. As the truck drove through the combat training course the truck tires would roll over trip wires releasing clay pigeons. The shooter would then be in a situation that would closely resemble having to fire from a B-17 while bouncing around taking flak and firing at incoming enemy fighter aircraft. The skill of shooting skeet was transferable to real life combat. A similar transfer is taking place in the Church.
For centuries people have thought the five equipping gifts listed in Ephesians 4 (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher) we tasked with training and equipping workers for leadership roles in the institutional church. This shortsighted idea has limited the effect of the Church. Things are changing as people realize the real responsibility of the equipping gifts is to train and equip everyone to do anything. This training is not for a specific job or profession but how to be the sound of Heaven in this life no matter what life-assignment you have. The vast majority of people in the Church will never carry the title of pastor or missionary. They will remain in their current job or profession to become a transforming presence for God’s Kingdom.
God has a plan to use you right where you are without the need to go anywhere or become something different. A housewife, construction worker, congressman, bank teller, retired person, a Wal-Mart greeter or any other job title is your place of Kingdom assignment. This is where God intends you to live and function as the Church embedded in culture. These assignments are your place of ministry because your Kingdom skills are transferable into any environment. You don’t need to go anywhere or become anything different for God to use you in a significant way.