People spend roughly sixty percent of their life in work or work-related tasks. Yet, according to a poll conducted by Career Impact Ministries, ninety percent of Christians had not heard a sermon, read a book, listened to a tape or been to a seminar that applied biblical principles to everyday work issues. Sadly, if you view sixty percent of your life as ‘not counting’ or not valuable to God (other than ‘witnessing’ or ‘supporting ministries’) we’re talking series life/faith implications to a large part of your congregation. People will either seek to reject Christianity because they will find their meaning from work or feel guilty they aren’t in ministry.Sadly, most of us don’t recognize God created us in His image as co-workers. This means, God is a worker and we were created to do work (not labor post-Fall but the beautiful creativity of reflecting God’s glory in His intended creation.) We are “co-workers in his creating, sustaining, redeeming and consummating work in both the church and the world.” (The Other Six Days R. Paul Stevens) Stevens goes on to say, we must be one people loving and serving in both the church and the world.
Increasingly, churches need to understand the significance of people’s work, in both the amount of time their congregation spends there, but in the redemptive process of God’s great concern for humanity. When we work with a Christian distinctive we see the world ‘fabric’ as unraveling because of sin. Our work of cultivation is to seek the knitting together of the ‘fabric’ to bring about shalom. Our call to the workplace is to serve the ordinary needs of others. We are here to meet our needs and the needs of others, knowing this redeeming process will not be completed until Jesus comes. Your congregation needs to see that working in technical support or as a receptionist has value in itself. We are fighting against the loss of shalom, miscommunication and chaos caused by the fall to provide and serve the needs of others. People’s work is God’s work. Only when your people have this type of theology, will they be set free to view their work in a Biblical perspective and see a holistic Gospel Redemptive plan that uses salvation but ends with the restoring of all things to God.
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