I have a dream for our church. It comes from how hard it is to live out my faith in the workplace, and an understanding of the power and significance of the Church in the world. I was created by God, gifted with abilities and experiences, and sent by Him to partner in the work He is already doing at my place of work. But I feel awkward, I lack answers, I run into ethical dilemmas, and overall I don’t feel I represent Christ well. But it seems as though I should be able to turn to the church for answers.
My dream is that our church will be a refuge, a resource center, an inspiration, a support center, for my every day calling to be the bearer of God’s image, the likeness of Christ, in my everyday life and especially my workplace. I see Bible teaching that opens up God’s Word in a way that is immediately and clearly applicable in my work. I see a group of other managers in our church where I can talk openly and honestly about how hard I find it to make Christ-honoring decisions, and to care for my staff with compassion, mercy, and justice. I see a Christ-centered community that honors and values the vocations of each and every member of the church, regardless of the world’s views of how important it is. I see an inspiring place where I clearly see God, His Kingdom, and His victory through His Church. I see a safe place of refreshment, comfort, rebuilding, and encouragement as I prepare to return on Monday to the office to which God has sent me.
What we need is not a program, nor a ministry, nor a committee. What I have in mind is more just a concept right now, encompassing this vision. It has more to do with our church’s culture than its programs, though it has a lot to do with my local church vision that we are “helping one another to know God, love others and serve the world”. It has to do with all three of these:
- Knowing God, because we all have so much to learn about Who He is, and what He is doing in our workplace, by His Spirit, through us.
- Loving others, because it is in sharing in community the “rubber meets the road” challenges of Monday to Friday work life that we need this love most.
- And of course serving the world, because our co-workers, customers, suppliers, and all we come into contact desperately need the hope, the perspective, and the love that God longs to pour out through us.
So a question for pastors and other leaders on this forum: how are you addressing the needs of your congregations as they seek to live out their Kingdom calling in their places of work?