Several years ago, at a networking meeting, I introduced myself as a Tailgate Theologian. I got the desired effect. Many of the people who were there that day came to ask me; "exactly what is a Tailgate Theologian"?
A Biblical Concept
The Bible is filled with people who took seriously their role in the world of work. Jesus in the Great Commission was making it clear that the believer is to make disciples as he goes about doing whatever it is that he does. Making disciples is the role of every believer! Only a few can go to other lands. Only a handful will have the time to commit to outreach programs. But many will show up to work tomorrow. Let them do so with a passion to represent Christ in their work. They'll have more opportunity to make disciples than all of the rest.
We're not talking about taking your employers time to "witness" to unbelievers. We're talking about witnessing by the quality of work that you give to your employer. Too many "witnessing" efforts have been destroyed by low quality performance on the job.
"Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." - Luke 9:60. Those who are spiritually dead will go through the routine of burying the dead. Those who are committed to Christ will see this opportunity in the same way they view everything else...as a follower of Jesus Christ.
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." - Ecclesiastes 9:10
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." - Colossians 3:17
A Biblical Pattern
Tailgate Theologians understands that work is an indispensable part of God's plan for the world. They approach everyday as a calling from God to represent Christ by the work they do. They set before them biblical role models such as Joseph and Daniel who stood in the midst of wicked Kings, not as an adversary but as an ally, and represented God in all of His glory. They don't feel threatened by the world. They feel empowered by God make a transforming mark on the world.
Tailgate Theologians like Nehemiah are able to get the world to sponsor the work of God. They understand that God has the king's heart in His hand and He can move as He desires. They see the accomplishments of a man like Nehemiah not as an anomaly but as normal. They expect God to repeat the magnificent acts of the past. They don't see God in a box...they see Him high and lifted up.
The Apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest Tailgate Theologian of all, accepted the challenge of tent making knowing it could lead to the Areopagus. There before the crowd that day he had the opportunity to represent God. We should all long for those opportunities, but to do so will require labor in the marketplace.
The Joy, Jazz and Juice of Serving Jesus can be experienced everyday on your job. For a full report on the Tailgate Theologian see http://www.ericmulford.com/TailgateTheologian/tailgate-theologian-report/