Biblical Vision of Vocation & Responsibility
There are two aspects of vocation and responsibility that apply to all Jesus-followers, simply because they come directly from God’s own word. The first is what is often referred to as the “cultural mandate” others have called it the “cultural commission.” It comes from Genesis 1:27-28, “God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them; and God blessed them and said unto them; be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” As biblical scholar Klaus Bockmuehl explains, “The cultural commission consists of procreation, and stewardship over the earth and its creatures.” With the above list we have the basic building blocks of culture, creation and pro-creation.
The second aspect of vocation and responsibility that applies to all Jesus-followers is the great commission. This is the natural out-working of the great commandment (to love God and neighbor). If we fulfill the great commandment we live into the great commission. While the cultural commission applies to the building blocks of what we might call ‘secular’ culture (though that’s not entirely helpful) the great commission applies to creating godly culture, the Kingdom of God. Irrespective of a persons individual call and/or giftedness the cultural and great commission are responsibilities of the Christian. Here it is important to remember that we are responsible for because we are responsible to God and His truth.
A further observation would be that seeing the great commission as a responsibility places the lost within a Christian’s vocational horizon. Too often we see the lost as a threat, biblically understood they are a part of the city we are seeking to protect from the threat of the world, flesh and the devil. All Christians, Christian families, churches and para-church organizations need to wrestle with this conundrum. If we are responsible, in some way, for the lost how does that affect how we do life and ministry?