Some members of the External Focus team visited a "faith and work" conference recently, and we came back with a lot to chew on!
Think for a minute… Have you ever wondered how a Christian in your job should operate?
How should you counsel that client? Or how should you deal with an illegal immigrant working for you? What about that competitor that undercut you in that bid process? Even though you “can” do that, “should” you? What is the most God-honoring thing to do with that revenue? How do you build a corporate culture based on biblical principles?
These are common questions - questions I had when I was in the business world - and they are important. But they also have a specific focus: the KIND of worker you are.
Many of us ponder "behaving like a Christian" in the midst of our work. But have you ever stopped to consider the meaning of your particular work?
This is about WHAT you do: How can what I’m doing as a financial services employee, a retail worker, a teacher, an accountant bring about glory to God and cause our community to flourish?
These are questions about how we steward our vocation. God cares about the kind of worker you are, but he also wants to use the kind of work you do to show love for him and for our city. This is called “vocational stewardship": God wants to use your intellect, your networking ability, your people skills, your platform, your positional authority, and your skills to bring about His will “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Your work matters. Let me say it again… What you DO Monday through Friday is every bit as much "worship" as what you do on Sunday. Your work matters to God and to this city.
And you might even have ideas on how you and others in your industry could collectively work together to help others in our city. If not, I’d encourage you to spend some time with others in your field to prayerfully consider that.
God told his people to pray for and work for the peace and prosperity of the city where they lived (Jeremiah 29:7). We are to work for Him in whatever we do (Colossians 3:23). God has a ministry for you, in and through your vocation (Ephesians 2:10). Your job is to discern what that looks like within your vocation and then act on it!
This week, consider your work from a wider and deeper frame of meaning. Think of yourself not just as educator, retailer, doctor, or janitor who happens to be a Christian... but a follower of Christ, living out your Christian calling within your role, focused on using your skills to advance God’s kingdom here and now.
Your work has spiritual significance. And we are called to serve God, love others, and help bring about God’s kingdom on earth.