Work: The Bigger Picture
From a video by LICC
God is intensely interested in how each of us uses the talents, resources, power, opportunities, and freedoms he’s given us at work. And why wouldn’t he be? He loves us.
Mark Greene, Mission Champion at LICC, explains:
Over the 10 years that I worked in advertising, I saw God working in extraordinary ways, in my job, among co-workers and in me.
The majority of Christians I've met don't really believe that their work in their daily lives. is significant to God. They're just not convinced that their work in a shop, office or factory, or work as a nurse or a teacher, as a bus driver, as a cab driver, as a street cleaner, as an executive - just not convinced that it's significant to God. Somehow, we find it really hard to believe that the work we do every day, the ordinary things we do every day is just as important as the work of a pastor or the work of a missionary.
Perhaps it's not surprising that there's not much focused prayer for our work in our church services, or even in our midweek groups. It's as if there's this huge part of our lives that is irrelevant to God. That's one teacher said to me. I teach Sunday school 45 minutes a week. And they haul me up to the front of the church to pray for me. But I teach in a school 40 hours a week. And the church has never prayed for that part of my life.
So we do tend to bring church related activities to Christ, but it's rare to value our daily work as a vital part of God's calling on our lives. It's rare to see daily work as a vital part of the church's mission. And it's rare to bring the things we do 40 or 50 hours a week to Christ. Why is that? Isn't all work significant to the Creator God who made the world and made a wonderful world for us to work in and create contexts for other people to flourish in? Isn't the Bible actually full of affirmations about the importance of work and the importance of working God's purposes in time? And eternity? And in Colossians 3, doesn't the Apostle Paul say, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord."? Whatever you do, whatever you do, whatever you do what I wonder what he's leaving out.
Your work is significant to God because you are significant to God.
Another reason work is significant is because work is an instrument that God uses to get things done. He wants people fed, people clothed, people housed, people helped to flourish. The world made a better place - His kingdom come, His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In your workplace, as it is in heaven.
God isn't sitting up in heaven looking down at our jobs thinking. "I really really wish they were doing something else right now." Work is a context for us to use our talents, our resources, our power, our freedom, our opportunities, to serve other people for the benefit of other people, and to the glory of God.
And of course, the workplace is a fantastic context for mission and for ministry. Because we have so many relationships with people who don't know, Jesus.
For decades now the church in the West has had this kind of view of itself - we are in the corner, marginalised and, every now and then, we scurry out to do some evangelism and then we scurry back. But the reality is completely different. We are out in the world, working relating Monday through Monday to scores and scores of people.
Every contact leaves a trace. Every contact you have with someone can leave a trace of growth. A sense of the fragrance of Christ, through the way you work and through the way you relate to people, your peers, your boss, your clients, your customers. After all, we're not primarily Christian employees. We are, first and foremost, sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. And so we go to work securely and empowered by His Spirit, Christ in us, always Christ with us.
And so in the workplace, we're called to be a model of Christ to others. We're called to be a minister of Christ, called to be a mouthpiece of Christ and we're called to mould culture.
Watch this 8 min video:
See other blogs; Commissioning people for the workplace, The Theology of Work Bible Commentary, Integrating work and faith.
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