“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11
What version of church growth did the apostles use? I’ve had some teaching which says if people aren’t aggressively evangelizing, they are essentially disappointments to God’s kingdom. Granted, they are anticipated, as the 80%, give or take, who produce little or no fruit. “How about Bob of Thessalonica? Is he multiplying?”
In fact, the Thessalonians did have expansive impact. Their way of life was noteworthy:
” 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,” 1 Th 1:6-8
Apparently there is less of a split between living a quiet, fairly normal life, and being effective for the Kingdom than might be assumed. Yes, there are heroes living very unusual and sacrificial and effective lives focuse on “kingdom advance”, but those stories are not meaningful for their drama. Paul told the Corinthians as much in his great treatise on Love that there is something more than standing out as specially knowledgeable, gifted, sacrificial. The issue is in love, which he exposits as a type of embodied shalom; contentedness.
not bragging. not keeping score. looking for good, for themselves and others.
Living a quiet life, miniding one’s own business essentially is the mission for all Christians. The bridge between aggressive evangelism and private faith is not in tactics it is in treasures. When our business is treasuring God, and those he has created and the world in fallen frustration looking forward to a day of freedom, then our big and small ways matter and are enough.