3 Reasons we Need Tech Missionaries

Do you feel called to serve Jesus? To live out the Gospel? To proclaim the good news?

We often define missionaries as people who go spread their beliefs in a foreign country. This means you have to GO somewhere to be a missionary. To uproot your home and leave your current life behind.

But what if you didn’t? What if you owned the title of “missionary” right now? Right where you are?

Work as Worship

Many in the Church have devalued work outside the Church. We’ve forgotten that our work should be a form of worship. That through our acts of creating — of building, of innovating, of coding, designing, or developing — we reflect our Creator.

Dorothy Sayers, author and apologist, puts it this way: “Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.”

Through our work, we have the opportunity to glorify God. To live the good news. To reach others. To serve.

Still think you have to GO somewhere to be a missionary?

Tech Missionary In Action

If you do feel called to go somewhere… go to work! As Pat Gelsinger, devout Christian and world-renowned tech leader, says, “You are called to be a minister while in the workforce and living in the marketplace.”

Pat answered the call.

At age 18, he was recruited by Intel; at 31, he became the company’s youngest Vice President. A few years later, Pat blazed trails as Intel’s first Chief Technology Officer. This guy led teams that developed almost every Intel processor since the 1990s, and he’s now at the helm of multi-billion dollar VMware.

At one point, Pat struggled with a big decision. Stay with his insanely successful career or enter into full-time vocational ministry. God gave him the answer:

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23)

He realized he could be a missionary and a tech leader. “I like to think I have a congregation of 13,300 today as CEO of VMware…. That’s the church that God has given me to be a minister to, and be a steward.”

Living his faith every day, Pat can impact, influence, and serve. He can leverage his considerable skills, talents, and wealth — he donates 50% of his gross income to charity — for the good of others and for the glory of God.

You don’t have to choose between missionary or tech leader. You don’t have to choose between serving or working. You don’t have to choose between living your faith and making a living.

But you do have to choose to use your work as a means of connecting with Christ and His mission for you.

Why the Tech Industry Needs Missionaries

The tech industry needs missionaries — a whole army of tech missionaries. Here’s why:

  1. We’re ready. Many workers in tech have been sold a lie by both the Church and the secular workplace. Tech workers have been taught to separate their faith and their work. Go to work during the day; Bible study at night. Work during the week; church on the weekend. But imagine if you saw tech leaders in your workplace who were living their faith through their work. How might that change your perspective of your workplace?
  2. Tech leaders have real influence. Apple, Google, Amazon… They wield tremendous influence, and tech missionaries can influence the influencers. Think about it like this: a single tweet can start a movement. #metoo, for example, is so huge and so powerful.
    A young man at a recent FaithTech gathering gave his life to Christ after he heard a tech leader talking about his own journey of faith. “I’ve never heard someone like you share your story like you did.”
    When a person of influence and respect talks about their love of Jesus, it’s powerful. It’s out of the norm. It’s unexpected. We’d hear that from a pastor, not a tech startup leader, right? We need to hear it from tech leaders.
  3. The industry is growing. In 2016, Japan boasted 195,000 STEM graduates, Iran 335,000, and the US nearly 600,000. India and China added 2.6 and 4.7 million graduates respectively. That’s a lot of tech talent! With so many people entering the industry, who’s leading? Who’s influencing? Who’s telling the stories we need to hear?

It could be you.

Very few people are spending time with people in the tech industry to live the Gospel of Jesus. Like Matthew 9:37–38 tells us, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

It Starts Now. It Starts with You

Do you consider yourself a tech missionary? How can you foster this sense of influence and responsibility in your role?

My challenge to you: be a missionary. Now. Where you are. Invite fellow followers of Jesus to start praying with you for your coworkers. Gather a group to pray for your leaders’ and organization’s success. At the water cooler on Monday, don’t be afraid to talk about what happened on Sunday.

One that follows Christ has a greater responsibility in this life. We are sent by Jesus to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19–20). You have been sent.

Get Involved

If you are feeling called to do something, we encourage you get involved. Start simple by gathering with another Christian at your workplace and pray. We at FaithTech call these Faith@Work groups. These exist to serve you and equip you to lead well in your workplace. So reach out to us and get involved!

Originally published at faithtech.com.