Faith changes everything about your work - 2
From an article on Redeemer City to City
The first part of this article is here.
Redeemer City to City is a non-profit organization co-founded by Tim Keller that prayerfully recruits, trains, coaches and resources leaders who cultivate gospel movements in global cities primarily through church planting. It is based in New York City and works in over 75 global cities throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.
Here is an edited version of a podcast of an interview with Missy Wallace, Director of Global Strategic Services, City to City who encourages churches to equip every individual to be Christ in their various spheres of work and influence.
We are trying to help pastors equip the people sitting in their seats to know how to go out and be the church, to love people, places, and things in their workplaces, to think about their work at the heart, community, and world level. If you're a pastor, it's not something you get to once you have your people tithing and you have enough people showing up and you have some stability. I would say it's the opposite way around: that if you don't understand how faith impacts your work from the very beginning—or if you're a pastor, from the minute you plant a church—how can everything you're doing be thinking about your congregants' work?
That's what your congregants care about, and you're trying to encourage them to show up at church. You need to be preaching in ways that talk about their work. You need to be thinking about city impact in ways that they can do it from their work. You need to be thinking about what work suffering does in their hearts. You need to be thinking about blogging about their work. How about visiting them at their workplaces? How about creating discipleship tracks that think through work? Faith and work is not a side gig; it's not an extra. It's how you live the gospel, all-in, every single day, and understand that the gospel changes everything. And that means work.
There are various levels of agency. So if you're a CEO, you have a lot of agency. You can make a lot of decisions about how things are going to work. And if you work on the factory line floor and your job is to turn a widget, you don't have a ton of agency. This is what you do. However, everybody has some level of influence of those around them.
Here's another story. There was a middle manager of a publicly traded healthcare company. There was not a lot of flexibility on what needed to happen with profitability, with shareholder expectations, so it created some constraints that might not have existed in a privately held company. This man noticed unexpected absenteeism unrelated to illness. When this happened at the minimum-wage level, it was a much longer break with more consecutive days out of the office than when it happened at the higher-education or higher-pay level.
He started pulling that apart, and he showed me the example of when a car battery fails. If my car battery breaks down, no problem. I can have it fixed in three hours and drive to work, or I can just Uber. In a low-wage setting, if their car battery breaks down, they don't have enough money to get the new battery, much less call the tow truck or pay for an Uber. So they have to go to Payday Loan, get a loan at 25% interest rate and advance pay, then figure out how to get to the battery store and so on.
In cases like these, it was a two-and-a-half to three-day affair. For me, it's a three-hour affair. Over and over, he saw structural things that were easy for someone with a good amount of disposable income to fix were extremely hard for minimum wage workers to fix. So he suggested an employee emergency fund to help with things like this. Well, he ended up presenting this to the head of people management, and about a week later, he got a call from someone saying, "Did you prove to the head of HR that our minimum wage workers are working poor? Because she just came in and entirely flipped her point of view on whether we should be paying for higher salaries for the minimum wage technicians that wanted to move up in the organization by receiving more education."
Someone in the middle said, "Hey, minimum wage workers have some constraints that I don't have that make them absent. They don't want to be absent—they don't get paid. I don't want them to be absent—my clinics don't work well. If I could reduce their absenteeism just a tiny bit, the company does better, the worker does better, and I do better. What can I do to reduce this brokenness?"
It actually unleashed a tuition benefit for this whole group of minimum wage workers in the publicly traded company because this middle manager pointed out a broken area. He's gone on to work in another industry, but he recently got a call from someone who told him they're working on his suggested emergency funds ideas now as well.
Read the full article here.
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