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In general, the church has done a fine job equipping Christians for the "private" areas of their lives: prayer, morality, family life, and so on. However, in general, the church has done a poor job equipping people for the "public" parts of their lives: namely, their work, their vocation. The reality is, most people spend the majority of their time in this latter, "public" area.
The teacher's comment was an important rebuke. When we as the church fail to honor Christians' work in the world as service or mission unto God, we communicate that what a person spends the majority of their time doing in the world is not nearly as important as what they spend a very small amount of time doing within the church.
The bifurcation of public and private has tremendous consequences. It results in compromise: if Christians aren't taught to understand how the gospel shapes their public lives, their lives will inevitably be shaped by a different worldview. It results in marginalization: restricting our faith to the private sphere limits our influence in the places of culture that really matter. And it results in disillusionment: Christians who don't believe there is any real point to their work (other than to make money to give to the church) will become disenchanted and cynical about their jobs.
Source: Christianity Today | Nathan Clarke and Corey Widmer