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This is really great stuff! Lots of great examples, and a really great theological framework.
Thanks for reading and commenting, JD Larson!
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I really like the introduction to this article in preparation for the church, "The effectiveness of a church’s mission largely depends on its ability to mobilize its people in doing God’s work in the world. The largest force the church has to accomplish its mission is the People of God engaged in the life of the world every day in the course of their daily work." This quote reminded of a lecture in a business class where my professor expanded on the call of Christian, which is first a dedication to God, secondly, to the immediate family, and third to the body of Christ. In this sense, placing God first in our lives as he is a Jealous God, and we are told to "seek first His kingdom and righteousness" (Matthew) we can continue to remain in obedience to commands. With our obedience comes our responsibility to love our neighbor like we love ourselves, emphasizing to love those near us in our household, then to those near by through our interactions and vocation. Because vocation is a major part of our lives were honor God in many aspects through our creativity, interactions, involvements, and ethics, we get to experience God in our work place and extend that to our coworkers, which I like the notion as stated, "Churches that support Christians at work find themselves on a journey in mission. Their focus has expanded from concentrating on what God is doing in the church to include what God is doing in the world." Every work setting is unique learning opportunity for us and having the church behind us through intercession and wisdom on how to deal and serve others in an empowering tool to move the kingdom forward in unity. Author Tom Nelson writes, "A concern for the well-being of others and the flourishing of the broader society in which we live is strongly affirmed throughout Scripture," (2011). Work Matters : Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work. Crossway. providing an example by Jeremiah where God's people were exiled and then commanded to live and help the Babylon flourish so they too may flourish. This also translates for us to help our neighbors and coworkers that we can all prosper together.
In the vision of God of the workplace I really like how its mentioned, "These churches give the people of God a sense that they have been strategically placed by God in their working worlds to make a difference there" here by the church coming together to support one another magnifies our feel good emotions knowing that we are contributing to God's kingdom through our church body and promotes a stronger sense of unity within the body as it is something they can go through together. Relationally people will feel better attached to their congregation which they can follow up as it won't be a superficial connection, but one of concern for one another. By having people in the church asking about what happened in our work or how we handled a certain situation creates accountability to keep up with what we say and not feel discouraged about what may be happening. When a pastor follows up it we feel as someone who really cares about what is going on in our lives both at work and in the personal. With a lot support, guidance, and preparations for our vocation it can lead to an outward focus to serve others and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
This article invoked a lot of great ideas as I read through it. The first point that stuck out to me was the idea that the main influx of new church goers occurs in the occupations of current church goers. This highlights the importance of being able to carry out God's work outside of the church. While Sundays spent in God's house are essential, being able to do what He has called us to the other 6 days is equally as important. For example, if we are approached by an individual at work that is interested in expanding their faith but we are "in work mode" we will miss an opportunity to bring another person into the Kingdom. This highlights the importance of always being ready and able to carry out the good fight and be the light we were created to be. I need to constantly remind myself to be ready for these opportunities and pray that God open my eyes to them. Thank you!
Work takes up the majority of people’s lives and there is often a huge disconnect between their faith and their work. As Tim Keller pointed out in the video in the sidebar, people will tend to follow the spirit of the age and have less joy unless the church steps in and disciples them.
This is an excellent article. So often the value of something is championed without sharing the “how-to” so people can actually do it. There are so many good ideas in this article to really help churches disciple their workers. I really like R. Paul Steven’s idea of getting people up and telling their stories during the service. Another good idea is to have a breakfast focused around faith and work.
In my church, we held a seminar designed to help people find and fulfill their calling. People of all ages showed up to discover their purpose. Paul knew his life had two callings: to know Christ and to make him known (Phil. 3:10, 12). He pressed on toward that calling to making Christ known to the Gentiles. It gave him purpose is suffering and marching orders when his work was hard. People want to have purpose in life and the church can help them find it!
There is so much good stuff here both in the theological sense but also in the practical sense!I appreciate this quote, "God’s mission is not primarily about getting people more involved in what churches are doing, but getting churches more involved in what God is doing in the world. It is a shift in emphasis from attracting crowds to church meetings towards equipping and supporting followers of Jesus for their work in the world."As a Church staff member, I appreciate this perspective especially in how it relates to equipping our congregation for Gods mission in the workplace. So often the desire of Church leadership is to get bigger numbers of people into the Church to get discipled. However, in that process, the concept of outreach and a missions mindset is lost because we get comfortable staying in our little Church bubble. These resources establishes well the concept that Gods mission is for everyone to know the truth of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:4). How would God accomplish this task if it were only up to the pastors or missionaries. It discounts the other 95% of the congregation that works the "regular" jobs. I would imagine that God would want all His followers, no matter where they are, to participate in this goal. The article, "The other 100,000 hours" by Chris Armstrong discusses well the importance of understanding the importance of our work especially since throughout our entire lives, it is what we spend the most time doing.
How do we include the more intentional mission service to people away form our city, country, if we are only (mainly) thinking, praying and reaching those who are near? Does the concept of TOW has a place for going over there, sort to speak. If so I don't see it covered in this article.
This is a lot of great information in understanding God’s will for humanity on a daily basis, in a fallen world, in fallen bodies.
Eugene H., thanks for reading! We hope you'll share our resources with your Christian community.
I have been working at, thinking about, planning for, enticing others into, wondering about (how bible study is part of),
Hi Peter, Thanks for reading. If you're interested in work-related Bible studies that you can do individually or as part of a group, we have some here: http://theologyofwork.chris...