Earlier this week I was at The Gospel Coalition conference. I most enjoyed the post-conference portion which was led by Tim Keller and on Faith & Work. Here are the notes I took:
Your work will make no sense to you unless it is a part of God's story.
- Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration.
- Creator of all things, everything created is good.
- Sin distorts every area of life
- you are a new creation
- God is not simply taking us into spiritual nether world but restoring this world. Shows goodness of work and future of work.
- Faith gives you an inner ballast without which work could destroy you. your identity etc. can be wrapped up in your work.
- used to be work a means to an end. problems with that. In western culture, work is an end in itself. "you can be anything you want to be."
- IF work is identity - success then it goes to your head. Failure then it goes to your heart.
- you need to have deep identity and sense of your worth not in work but in Christ.
- Faith gives you concept of dignity and worth of all work, even simple work, without which, work could bore you.
- All work is God's work and way of God caring for his creation. God's way of "strengthening the bars of your gates." The way to do work as a Christian is to do it well. - Luther Ex. what does it mean to be a Christian airline pilot? fly the plane well. Don't over think how to "be a Christian" in what you do. Ministry of competence: just be the best at aha you're doing.
- Faith gives you a moral compass, without which work could corrupt you.
- So much pressure for profitability, to stay alive. So tremendous pressure to cut corners.
- strong inner moral compass will protect you from making wrong sin. honesty, integrity, etc.
- Faith gives you a world and life you that shapes character of your work, without which work could master and use you.
- how your Christian worldview will distinctively shape your work.
- Faith fives you hope, without which you will lose heart and despair.
- because of fall you can work for years and only ever get "one leaf out" (Tolkien story of man painting tree).
Focus on managing and developing creation value not on creating economic value.
**how to be a Christian at work (or in life)
--SIMPLY do all that Christ and the apostles commanded! Find your identity in Christ, do all things without grumbling and complaining, repent and ask for forgiveness, etc. etc.
Calvin - work is creative, reshapes the world. (i.e. producing something new, like this blogpost)
Luther - work is caring for creation (cleaning/maintaining something that already exists, like proof reading and editing this blog post)
Adam was put into the Garden to work it and keep it
***Work isn't a calling unless someone has called you to do it. Christians have the raw material for calling. Thus, even menial chores are God's work!
What work takes priority in our lives?
-Calling. See how God answers prayer, guides you and gives wisdom and let that help you prioritize. Look at needs around you, what you're equipped with, and do you feel called to do.
Jeremiah 29 and common good.
Calvin - look inside at what you are gifted in
Luther - look out there and see what needs to be done.
-to find your calling, start with your one and go to the other, or vice versa.
Churches need to train people in wisdom, because there will be times when you are called to do things you don't feel called to or that you aren't passionate about.
Teach Business Leaders to:
- Depend on God
- Integrate spiritual life and work life.
- Teach prioritization
- teach the basics, time with God, family, etc.
- Encourage us to be in accountability relationships.
- Understand that work is a calling
- The 9 to 5 window is just as important as the 1040 window
- Be generous. Sacrificial giving for business leaders is often very very different than the typical person in the pew. Give until it feels good!
we will be judged for our faithfulness in the workplace.
Business leaders want:
- Our leaders need a robust theology that informs their work.
- Dorothy Sayers: "The only Christian work is good work well done."
- our leaders need a rich, compelling, liturgical regularity that affirms their work.
- take into account how we craft congregational worship.
- PSALM 90:17
- a respectful relationship that applauds their work.
- Be in tune with their Monday world. People do not understand at any level the complex and stress they often face.
- take a sincere interest in leaders of all vocations.
- read things from their world
- visit their workplaces
- be creative and thoughtful at finding simple ways to encourage market place leaders. (call, write note)
- pray for them