The Church and Daily Work

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

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Thank you for writing this (and whoever tweeted this). In my opinion this is one (among others of course) areas of the church where we have significantly failed. As Reformed people we've long asserted that the calling to serve the institutional church is no "higher calling" that every other honorable vocation present amidst our congregations. Every time I assert this publicly I get mostly skeptical looks and contradictory comments. Where have people picked up this skewed perspective? From the pastors.

It also comes from our implicit gnosticism of "heaven" and a deficient appreciation for the value of history. One of the reasons the church has spent so little time encouraging the cruciform and resurrection oriented development of the rest of the vocational spectrum is because a lot of alien theological and missiological packages we've grabbed hold of. History is not a soul-sorting apparatus that leads to either ethereal reward or fiery punishment, it is redemptive pursuit of celebrating the generosity of God embedded in creation and culminating in renewed creation. The wedding banquet of the lamb will celebrate the harvest of God-seeded culture from stories and cultures we've imagined to be lost.

As preachers we are called as part of Gospel proclamation to excite the participation of all vocations in preparation of this celebration. The banquet of the lamb will not be some poofed up turkish delight by a magic wand, that is the way of the white witch. The sitting at the table will be the final celebration of the chefs of God who cook, the farmers of God who supply the food, the engineers of God who design the farm equipment, the architects God who design the room, the carpenters of God who build the tables and the chairs, the designers of God who design the table settings, the composures of God who write the music, the musicians of God who play and sing, etc. etc. etc. pvk

Great comment Paul,

  The general picture we are presenting to the secular world is being missinterprated and attacked. Whe can present a logical argument for Christ like it takes the same amount faith to believe in a singlarity as the creation etc. Thanks for the insight. God bless you