Day 20 - Kingdom at Work: Bring Back Life to Work

Day 20 - Kingdom at Work: Bring Back Life to Work

Week 4 Day 5

Kingdom at Work: bring back life to work

 “Therefore go (to your workplace) and make disciples (be a teacher) of all nations, (your co-workers) baptizing (immersing) them in the name (the nature and identity) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them (by your example) to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” @ Matthew 28:18-20 paraphrase.

At the end of my Bible College studies there was a commissioning service designed to remind us that God had uniquely gifted and called each one to serve. It was beautiful and memorable. And yet it strikes me how the vast majority of us rarely have such a moment of ordination/commissioning for our regular jobs.

We don’t always associate commissioning and prayers of blessing with jobs outside the ministry of the Church. And yet, in the Bible this was normal practise.

Abraham, when he blessed Isaac, blessed his business - your flocks will grow, your inheritance will grow, your business will excel… you’ll become known as a good businessman in the community.

The pattern continued in the next generation with Issac and his sons. There was always blessing, not only on individuals and their families, but on their businesses and enterprises.

When Jesus later commissioned the disciples, it was to bring life to every place, to every space, to unleash and unlock the kingdom. It was the same pattern of blessing - blessing to transform the whole of society.

And so He commissions us now. He commissions us to bring back life to the workplace, to our areas of influence and industry… which is why I want to bless you with fruitfulness at work today….

Prayer

Father, thank you that work matters. And thank you that you’re with us.

Thank you for the example of Daniel - for young people; that you’re raising a generation who view work differently, and who do work differently. And as a result of the way they work, God, you’re beginning to restructure whole companies and whole communities. We’re so deeply grateful.

Father, thank you for where you’ve positioned us to work, that because you’re in us, we are connected to a source of power strong enough to regulate the temperature of that company. Grace us to join you in your work - choosing, no longer to simply be a thermometer, but a thermostat. We are asking God, that through you - your hope in us, your life in us - the climate and the atmosphere of our company would change.

Father, where we’ve been negligent in our work, where we’ve been critical, where we’ve been slack, we ask your forgiveness. Today, please help us unleash the prosperity available to the city through the blessing of the upright. Lord, we ask that you would bless us to be a blessing in our workplace.

Today, I bless you to bear much fruit in your workplace.

I bless you with ideas and innovations, with insight from the Father. I bless you with the ability to bring solutions that are not from around here. I bless you to understand the times and to know what you need to do. I bless your relationships. I declare that where there have previously been thorns and thistles in areas of your work, there would now be great fruitfulness.

I break the assignment of the Destroyer in your workplace to make your relationships difficult, your responsibilities unmanageable, to create overwhelmed emotions in you. I break the assignment of harassment over your emotions and your thinking today as it relates to your workplace. And I release you as one in a generation called and equipped by God to bring about change in the whole community through seeing the kingdom at work.

I pray this all in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Day 19 - Kingdom at Work: Assignment

Day 19 - Kingdom at Work: Assignment

Week 4 Day 4

Kingdom at Work: assignment

Jesus’ intention was that through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God be made known; the wisdom of God in education, in business, in health.

Re-presenting the kingdom at work is more than speaking about our faith at work, or praying for a colleague, wonderful as these things are. God has something more glorious for us to do - it is more than the ability of the kingdom, namely the ministry of the kingdom, God wants us to introduce the reality of the kingdom.

The reality of the kingdom is an atmosphere - it’s an atmosphere of glory. Our assignment is to disciple all workplaces, all industries, all companies, and bring them, plunge them, baptize them into the kingdom atmosphere - the atmosphere that changes everything.

“This, then, is what marketplace mission is all about. It is to proclaim a faith that transforms work and through that transformed work to transform people and through those transformed people to transform society.”  Michael McLouchlin

We want more than occasional ministry (praying for the sick, giving words of knowledge, etc…), we want to see ‘kingdom industries’ - whole workplaces that release good; jobs created that provide dignity. We want to bring back life to the workplace. We want the kingdom at work - industries immersed in divine reality; individuals aware that their work makes the kingdom available and transforms culture.

We want to help people understand how being an architect connects with the kingdom, how being a businessman reaches so much further than profitability, how being a school-teacher supplies destiny, how being a pastor invites partnership with the city so that everyone, everywhere can come alive to the mercy, the story and glory of God.

This is an assignment so much bigger than us. This is an assignment from the Father to unlock the powerful reality of another world here and now; that we would not only pray, but also step into, ‘your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’

Day 18 - Kingdom at Work: Kingdom Attraction

Day 18 - Kingdom at Work: Kingdom Attraction

Week 4 Day 3

Kingdom at Work: kingdom attraction

“Make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive in every way.”  - Titus 2:10b.

Work has a redemptive purpose and an inherent spiritual value. What happens to the future of education if we abandon it? What happens to the future of health care? What happens to the media without a Christian voice? What happens to the arts and the sciences? Make no mistake, your influence is needed at a corporate level.

Yet, we don’t only share our faith through work; we share our faith at work.

We embrace the spiritual significance of work on a personal level.

Ed Silvoso writes, “Early Christians made the marketplace the focal point of their ministry because their occupations regularly took them there. As they conducted business, it was natural for them to present the Gospel to the people they encountered. Marketplace people played a vital role in the emergence, establishment, and expansion of the early church.”

The truth is, many of the people you work with are trying to make sense of their lives, they are having spiritual experiences they don’t understand, they are wrestling with fractured relationships, hidden hurts, burdens too heavy to carry on their own. Most of them will never pour out their life to a stranger on the street, but they will speak to a friend in the office.

God has deliberately and strategically positioned you there for them.

It’s not that the people you work with want much to do with religion, but they are hungry for meaning. And our task, according to scripture, is to make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.

Imagine if believers in the workplace were known as the hardest workers, the problem solvers, the creative thinkers, the most trustworthy confidants. Imagine if, through the way we worked, the way we treated those in authority, the way we honoured those around us, we made the teaching of our God compellingly attractive. And imagine if, as the Holy Spirit prompts, we shared our faith as we went about our every day ordinary work.

It could change everything!

Day 17 - Kingdom at Work: Engage Your Influence

Day 17 - Kingdom at Work: Engage Your Influence

Week 4 Day 2

Kingdom at Work: engage your influence

“Do you see someone skilled in their work...they will not stand before obscure men, they will stand before kings.”  @ Proverbs 22:29.

Excellence at work will increase your influence at work.

The excellence of the work you do matters, and your influence will grow in accordance with it. Initially, there was nothing to distinguish Daniel from any of the others, but God had favoured this young person to make a difference in his world, to creatively engage in shaping a culture very different to his own. “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” @ Proverbs 22:29 (ESV). 

Excellence lifts you from obscurity to impact.

Excellence at work is about working with diligence. It’s about harnessing your skills. It’s about focus. Excellence at work invites you to concentrate on your competencies, to be productive, to give it everything you’ve got… and as you do so, subtly and subversively change the culture you’ve been handed.

As you work with diligence and excellence, God will bring you into atmosphere of influence and abundance. God will create kingdom connections and combinations that exceed expectations. If you give yourself to what He has put on you in the workplace, He will open up every place; arenas that were previously inaccessible will become available. There will be an authority shift in your life, and you will be moved… by HIM, from obscurity to influence. 

Day 16 - Kingdom at Work: Divine Assignment

Day 16 - Kingdom at Work: Divine Assignment

Week 4 Day 1

Kingdom at Work: divine assignment

Wherever you work, your presence, your influence is needed.

Sometimes we see our faith and our work in the city as disconnected. Yet, as we work in the city we have the opportunity to release a different design into its very heart. We have the possibility to lead the city into life in a thousand innovative creative ways. We not only receive income from work, we inscribe hope through work, and in that process discover our presence and influence is really subversively the kingdom@work.

Our work is a gift: our work is assignment.

As a kingdom believer, we are not called to survive the workplace, but to seek its transformation; to see our workplaces alive with beauty, alive with glory, alive with divine generosity, filled with His presence.  As we develop a kingdom mindset, our workplace becomes a thin place… a place where presence and abundance meet us, and spill on those around us.

Kingdom carriers at work discern the active presence of God in companies and industries, in colleagues and challenges. They are those who carry the culture (blueprint) of the kingdom at work, to create shifts in society, to reset and reorder things as God intends.

The goal of our faith is not to survive the workplace, but to transform it. There is nothing more exciting than showing up at work and expecting God to show up with you.

As you begin your working week remember, your job is not a place of confinement, it’s a place of divine assignment. God’s presence and power is already at work as you begin yours.

Day 15 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Create a Kingdom Atmosphere

Day 15 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Create a Kingdom Atmosphere

Week 3 Day 5

Changing the Culture of Your Company: create a kingdom atmosphere

“Do everything without complaining.” @ Philippians 2:14.

Kingdom carriers introduce kingdom atmospheres.

Often it’s easy to become a thermometer at work - simply reflecting the values, practices and worldview of others, and yet God calls us to be a thermostat - regulating and setting the climate at work. In order to change the culture of our company we have to change the atmosphere.

In today’s verse, Paul invites us to do everything without complaining. No more whining, no more moaning, no more fault-finding. When we complain we portray ourselves as victims rather than royal daughters and sons. When we complain we abdicate our authority and our responsibility; we act as though our choices, the unfolding of our stories, are not in our own hands.

The language of complaint does not belong on royal lips.

If we are to bring creative solutions and release our kingdom contribution at work we must relinquish the disposition of complaint. Instead of complaining, we need to commit to the practise of crucial conversation. Instead of lending our voice to negativity, we need to introduce new patterns of thinking. Instead of harbouring dishonour, we need to guard the hearts of the colleagues we have been entrusted to work alongside.

Today, choose to believe you can change the culture of your company through the quality of your work, the character you demonstrate, the solutions you bring, and the atmosphere you create. Decide to become the employee who contributes rather than complains. And remember… if you have enough passion to complain… you have enough passion to transform.

Day 14 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Practicing Integrity

Day 14 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Practicing Integrity

Week 3 Day 4

Changing the culture of your company: practicing integrity

“I'll not deny my integrity even if it costs me my life. I'm holding fast to my integrity and not loosening my grip -- and, believe me, I'll never regret it.” @ Job 27:5 –6 TM

 You’ve heard people say it, maybe you’ve even wrestled with the same thoughts yourself…

 “I like to keep my faith for home and church, but business is different.”
“If I show humility it’s seen as weakness.”
“If I were to bring my faith to work, I would be alienated and ostracised.”

It can be hard in the middle of office politics and flirting, gossip and dirty jokes not to join in, especially when we know how it affects our prospects and relationships. It can be hard not to succumb, not to compromise, but it’s more than the moment at stake… it’s your integrity.

Job says, “I won’t deny my integrity even if it costs me everything I have.” Then he says something remarkable, “I won’t regret it.” Isn’t that what our fears whisper to us? “If you don’t go along with this you will regret it. You will be left out of decisions, isolated in relationships and overlooked for promotion.”

And all of that may be true.

If you choose integrity, you may not receive equitable treatment, you may be unfairly overlooked but… you will never regret it. God is able to prosper you, and he always rewards integrity.

“Promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.” @ Psalm 75:6-7

Day 13 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Practising Loyalty in an age of mobility

Day 13 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Practising Loyalty in an age of mobility

Week 3 Day 3

Changing the Culture of Your Company: practising loyalty in an age of mobility

The average person will change jobs seven times in their lifetime. Mobility is here to stay. All too often redundancy is our reward for years of loyalty, making it all the harder to wrestle with the biblical exhortation to submit to those in authority.

How can we be loyal to a company that is unethical?
How can we be loyal in a company that is immoral?
How can we be loyal to a boss who seems evil?

Every day Daniel wrestled with those questions. His corporate culture was filled with relational saboteurs including jealousy, greed, ego and ambition. Additionally, his employer demanded that everyone do everything for him. When they didn’t, he fired them… literally. Yet, Daniel determined to be loyal and submit to those in authority.

Loyalty changes the culture of the company.

When we willingly embrace the authority God has put in our lives, it attracts favour on our lives. And when we attract favour on our lives, it begins to release favour in our companies, and our communities. Every time we respond well to any area of authority we attract favour. It’s just a given. It’s how the kingdom is set up.

We practice loyalty not because our boss/company deserves it. We practice loyalty because the kingdom requires it. Loyalty is kingdom currency. It brings the resources of the ‘age to come’ crashing into our world today. It establishes capacity for acceleration and productivity, creativity and partnership previously unavailable. It allows the ‘rule and reign’ of the One who is worthy of our submission, of our greatest loyalty, to infiltrate even the most unreceptive company culture and change everything from the inside out.

Day 12 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Crucial Conversations

Day 12 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Crucial Conversations

Week 3 Day 2

Changing the Culture of Your Company; crucial conversations

“Speaking the truth in love we will in all things grow up.”

Recently I came across Joseph Grenny's quite brilliant book detailing the importance of crucial conversations at work. The central premise is that if we are stuck at work often it’s because there is a crucial conversation we are not holding or not holding well. Instead of talking it out with our colleagues, we act it out in our choices, with the result that we often do our worst when we need to be at our best. In the absence of crucial conversations tension can devastate momentum.

In the book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel made the choice to have a crucial conversation with Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the country. As with every crucial conversation, the stakes were high, (Daniel could have lost not only his job, but his life!) There were opposing opinions and strong emotions. Yet Daniel’s courage in speaking the truth ultimately restored health.

Crucial conversations are at the core of a healthy culture.

Since it’s impossible to have FEWER crucial conversations, we must learn to become BETTER at them. Our workplaces can never be healthy until we choose honesty and honour; changing the culture by the way we handle one another’s hearts; choosing to resolve rather than avoid the issues underlying relational pain.

Work is hard enough without unresolved relational issues scarring everyday. Make the advance decision today that you are going to enjoy life at work by letting go of the past and the pain. Instead of withdrawing, you are going to step into the freedom that lies just beyond that crucial conversation - allowing the fresh start of ‘clear air’ to fill both your work and your workplace… a new opportunity to work wholeheartedly. 

As far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men. 

Day 11 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Distortion and Recreation

Day 11 - Changing the Culture of Your Company: Distortion and Recreation

Week 3 Day 1

Changing the Culture of Your Company: distortion and recreation

Changing the culture of your company: distortion and recreation.

Work was created by God as an expression of the beauty and glory of God.

And then it became distorted. It became about earning rather than learning. It became synonymous with productivity rather than discovery. Thorns and thistles grew up around work choking our experience of life at work. Those exploited by the distortion began to resent work, ignore work, leave work or find themselves unable to secure work. Workers suffered and workplaces became severed from the story of beauty, succumbing instead to the inferior narrative of profitability.

Later, the distortion of work didn’t stop at the exploitation of workers and the oppression of the poor, it crept into our hearts through the idolisation of work. Men, and eventually women, found their worth in work, their identity and story in work, to such an extent they became insecure when their work was threatened. Subsequently, relationships at work were devalued by the great distortion. People were managed rather than cultivated, efficiency replaced loyalty, and profitability became of greater value than partnership.

The distortion affected everything.

And its fruit… confusion and resignation.

We resign ourselves to the belief that things are never going to change, we resign ourselves to the idea that we have no influence, we resign ourselves to thinking that complaining is the way forward… only adding to the distortion.

But there is another way. It is the way of recreation. It resets patterns of thinking and reorders fractured working relationships, changing the culture of our companies from the inside out.

Day 10 - Alive in Every Environment: Growing Through Work

Day 10 - Alive in Every Environment: Growing Through Work

Week 2 Day 5

Alive in Every Environment; growing through work

In the beginning, work wasn’t about owning things, it was about growing as a person.

There is, and has always been, a connection between the work you do and the heart you grow. This is one reason Paul says, "whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men. Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." Col 3:23. 

We don’t just go to work; we grow through work. Occasionally such growth happens organically - mostly, we have to intentionally position ourselves for it.

Someone once said, “If you know more than everyone in the room, it's time to find another room.” Look for some brilliant connections; people who think expansively, who think differently. Identify someone in the company who understands your vocation and can teach you new skills and guide you through the cultural landscape of the company. Invite them to become your mentor and then apply what you learn.

If the job you have now offers no opportunity to grow, decide to grow anyway.

Work on your skill. Take some classes. Read some books. Interview the best in your field. Be creative, resourceful and determined to be the best you can be at what you do. Understand what enters the room when you do.

Don’t allow your position, whether high or low, to determine your personal growth. You choose. You lean in. Wherever you happen to be planted, decide today to make work work for you. 

Day 9 - Alive in Every Environment: Connecting Your Job With Good News

Day 9 - Alive in Every Environment: Connecting Your Job With Good News

Week 2 Day 4

Alive in every environment: connecting your job with good news

Part of turning our job into a joy is connecting it to good news. How does what I do lead to human flourishing, and enable people and places to come alive?

Some jobs lend themselves to this more naturally. Those in people-centred professions, such as social workers, nurses, counsellors and teachers generally understand how their vocation helps people flourish, connecting them with a preferable future.

An education is good news…
Medication is good news…

Yet, how do factory workers and manufacturers, or those involved in industrial work, connect their story of work with the story of God?

As a young bi-vocational pastor, I worked in a Woolworth’s store. It felt mundane. It felt disconnected from calling, from what I was made for. I got to meet people, but in all honesty I struggled to see how scanning goods was good news.

When work is the steady faithfulness of honouring our commitments, of covering our bills, rather than the adventure of stepping into something that makes us fully alive, we are faced with a choice - the choice to make the connection.

 Clean facilities without bacteria is good news…
Safe driving is good news…
Business orders fulfilled is good news…
Local economies enabled to stay afloat is good news…

When connected with good news, every industry can create beauty, can provide dignity.

Professionals bring purpose and partnerships.
Service industries bring order out of chaos.
Chefs bring creativity to social gatherings.
Cleaners, janitors, refuse collectors bring beauty to the environment.

‘The Holy Spirit is so committed to His world that He wants to partner with you - wherever you are - for His glory. He says to you that are hairdressers and carers and teachers and IT workers and the rest, “ My Spirit will rest upon you, that you might be the means of bringing order out of chaos, beauty into a wilderness, offering something back to God.”’ - Neil Hudson LICC

Day 8 - Alive in Every Environment: turning your job into a joy

Day 8 - Alive in Every Environment: turning your job into a joy

Week 2 Day 3

Alive in every environment: turning your job into a joy

Many people live frustrated at work, rather than fulfilled by work.

Sometimes we think fulfilled people are simply fortuitous they stumbled into a job they can love. They had the right background and relationships in order to make that possible. Doubtlessly, that is the case for some. But the truth is, people who are enjoying their work invariably are people who listened to their passions and made their passions a priority. They thought about what they really loved to do and they sacrificed, sometimes good jobs, to make that reality. They left something successful for something meaningful.

At some point along the way, fulfilled people decided that, instead of yearning for their job to be a joy, they would turn… they would turn their job into a joy.

The turning point comes in every career.

Every day Jane stares out the office dreaming of a way out. Where would she go? What would she do? Geoff has a great business idea he would like to try, he’s talked to some of his colleagues about it, they think he should go for it, but he’s not convinced. Sarah is getting older and it’s getting harder to get any job - is she wise in holding out for something she enjoys?

It’s the turning point, and yet, most people decide it is safer to stay than move. And so the good future they long for - the heart satisfying work they crave - gets buried until the next time.

Sooner or later, if you are going to turn your job into a joy, you are going to have to take some risks, to upset some relationships, to rethink your life journey, to learn some new skills, to unleash your passion and to endure criticism. It’s your job to make the small, but significant, mid-course corrections that allow you to sustain your highest and best contribution to the team. Yearning for your job to be a joy won’ t work. Complaining that your job is not a joy won’t work. You have to start turning. Take some bold steps. Take some small steps. Do it today.

Day 7 - Alive in Every Environment: Made for More

Day 7 - Alive in Every Environment: Made for More

Week 2 Day 2

Alive in every environment: made for more

 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.” @ Matthew 25:14-15.

Your talents and strengths are God-given.

They are given, not just so you can make a living, but so you can express the life within you.  While your job does not need to be impressive, it does need to be expressive - it needs to give you the chance to do what you do best everyday. It needs to engage your passion. It ought to be a source of enjoyment in your life.

In the passage today, the business owner gave to each according to their own ability. The word ‘own’ is the Greek work ‘idiom’, from which we derive our word ‘idiosyncrasies’. It implies gifting that correlates with personality and the uniqueness of the individual. Our work is the signature of our soul, therefore our work ought to unlock our uniqueness. We all need to feel that the person we are fits the work we are doing.

The Oscar-winning 1981 film, “Chariots of Fire”, depicts the true story of missionary to china and olympian athlete, Eric Liddell. When challenged by his sister to choose between his call to missionary work in China and his athletic abilities, Eric replied, "God made me for a purpose. He made me for China, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” 

Work is supposed to bring a sense of Divine pleasure - of favour, not a sense of failure to our lives. You were made for work that stirs passion and purpose.

Work to make a living, yes. But position your heart to allow that work to express the life within you.

Day 6 - Alive in Every Environment: Enjoying Everyday

Day 6 - Alive in Every Environment: Enjoying Everyday

Week 2 - Day 1

Alive in every environment: Enjoying everyday

God’s gift to us is the happiness we get… from the work we do.” @ Ecclesiastes 3:13 CEV.

As believers, we are called to be alive in every environment and bring life to every environment. In our devotional today, I’d like to invite us to think through making our place of employment a place of enjoyment.

The approach of some, when it comes to making work enjoyable, is to not go! Others find themselves contemplating retirement before they even begin working. For many of us, we approach our life at work with the belief that change is impossible, and misery inevitable.

I recently read and enjoyed Tim Ferriss' book, “The 4-hour work week”. It's an international bestseller built around the understanding that work is something to be escaped rather than enjoyed. While it has many insightful principles, the underlying premise is at odds with scripture.

“We were meant to enjoy our work… and that’s the best thing we can do." @ Ecclesiastes 3:22 CEV.

At first glance, this appears to be something of an overstatement. The idea of enjoying our work appeals, but it being the best thing we can do… isn’t that a narrow portrait of life? The ancient life coach suggests the inconceivable, namely, our work can bring us excitement and fulfilment that nothing else can; that something shrivels in the soul when we are not engaged. Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived, is convinced that work is one of God’s greatest gifts.  

There is a connection between my job and my joy.

If you are going to spend your life working, you owe it to yourself, your family, and your God to make it meaningful and enjoyable. It’s time to integrate what has been separate; your vocation and your vision, your job and your joy. 

This Monday morning, remember you are not simply going to work to get pick up some pay, you are going to work to shape society by releasing the kingdom into broken humanity.

 

Day 5 - Wakening Up to Work: Wisdom@Work

Day 5 - Wakening Up to Work: Wisdom@Work

Day 5

Wakening Up to Work: Wisdom@Work

In the nineties ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ became the mantra of a generation.  Contrast this approach with the Proverbs 31 description of the wise woman.

“She senses the worth in her work and is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.” Proverbs 31:18 The Message.

Many of us spend our days at work waiting for life to happen. Waiting for the end of the day, waiting for the weekend, waiting for our next holiday. But this woman is different. She senses the worth in her work and is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. This is wisdom at work.

She carries an awareness that what she does makes a difference, it has value; it is changing something or someone. Something inside her makes the connection between what she does and its value.  She has an intuitive understanding that her work counts. No-one tells her, she just knows.  Because it makes a difference, she is not looking for a way out. She is happy to stay in for the long haul. This is more than a job, it’s a journey.

Life at work is more than a job, it’s a journey.   

The worth of her work is not determined by others’ recognition or evaluation. Somehow God is being glorified through this. She doesn’t derive her worth from her work, she is not a workaholic. She knows there is more to life than work. But she has wakened up to work in a way that produces passion in her.   

For this woman, work is more than trading hours for pounds. Her work has dignity and destiny wrapped up in it. She knows it. This is more than a job for her, it’s a journey of challenge and change and growth and creativity and engaged passion and energy. Put simply, it’s the expression of her soul on the canvas of the world. 

Day 4 - Wakening Up to Work: Discovery@Work

Day 4 - Wakening Up to Work: Discovery@Work

Day 4

Wakening Up to Work: Discovery@Work

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and take care of it.” @ Genesis 2:15.

Discovery… Creativity… Generosity… Opportunity…

Not words we normally associate with our work - yet, all part of the divine design and dream for work.

In the beginning, man wasn’t sent to work as a task, but as a gift. Our work was intended to be a place of discovery and creativity, not simply productivity.  We don’t just work to earn; we work to learn. Fundamentally, we work to create, to explore, to innovate.

As Adam cultivated and shaped the garden around him, God shaped something within Adam. But He also shaped something with him. Adam became partner… co-labourer… co-creator. Biblically, if you are working at all you are working for God; more than that, you are working with God. He invites us to take our place beside Him, to work with Him for the transformation of the workplace.

Our work is partnership.

Our work is worship.

The Hebrew word for work is ‘avodah’, the same as the word for worship. Whether we are a manager, a doctor, a pastor, a lorry driver, shopkeeper or cleaner, it all has the potential to glorify God. The story of our everyday work is the story of the goodness and the glory of God inscribed in the moments and environments around us. It is the story of worship… of relationship… of partnership with the God who is always working.

Determine today to do your work in a way that calls attention to God’s worth and wakens worship; a heart stance that only calls something to life in you, but alters the atmosphere of the workplace itself.

Day 3 - Wakening Up to Work: Reclaiming a biblical view of work

Day 3 - Wakening Up to Work: Reclaiming a biblical view of work

DAY 3

Wakening Up to Work: Reclaiming a biblical view of work

“My Father is always working.” @ John 5:17

When I first became a believer, I connected with a local church in a deprived housing estate. It was a new church, largely comprised of young adults recently set free from addiction. Although the church was marked by passionate spirituality, it viewed those in employment rather suspiciously. Work seemed like a distraction from destiny, rather than a doorway into it.

Yet, work originated in the heart of God. It was His idea. It was His initiative. The word “work”, in its different forms, is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible, more than all the words used to express worship and praise combined.

Indeed, Scripture opens with God at work: as artist, designer, strategic planner, organizer, project developer, assessor, zoologist, biologist, chemist, linguist, programmer, materials specialist, engineer… And then He created a co-creator, someone who would partner Him in His work.

The workplace became the context for the story of God.

Many of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets worked as farmers, shepherds, and business owners; living out the story of God while continuing ordinary jobs. This pattern continued with the ministry of Jesus, who worked as a carpenter. Unsurprisingly, forty-five of the fifty-two parables Jesus told had a workplace context. By His words and deeds, Jesus affirmed God’s value for work.

God is not indifferent to our work. God is interested in every worker in every workplace. He offers us a kingdom large enough for all things, all vocations, all generations; every industry immersed in the story of God - every worker alive to the glory of God.

As believers, we don’t take our faith to work; our faith takes us to work.

Day 2 - Wakening Up to Work: Kingdom-Carriers@Work

Day 2 - Wakening Up to Work: Kingdom-Carriers@Work

Day 2

Wakening up to work: kingdom-carriers@work

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” @ Colossians 3:23-24

It is impossible to change communities through Sunday services. It’s only possible through scattered servants - people who take their everyday ordinary life and place it before God as an offering. Scattered servants bring life everywhere everyday. These kingdom carriers show up in their place of employment, understanding that they are on assignment.

The assignment is not merely to share their faith… the assignment is always to bring back life.

The great reformer and abolitionist, William Wilberforce, was determined to bring back life. Consequently, He devoted his early political career to creating initiatives that would rescue and restore life to those in slavery. However, after he came to faith in Christ at age 26, he almost quit politics to go into the “ministry”. He perceived it to be of greater value and a higher calling.

Thankfully his friend, (a former slave trader named John Newton, and the writer of ‘Amazing Grace’), persuaded Wilberforce to remain where God could use him most - in politics. Ultimately, God used the scattered servant, Wilberforce to gradually eliminate slavery in his day, through 69 initiatives he piloted that changed his nation… and the world.

As believers, we are entrusted with bringing life back to workplaces, and communities, and families through working with God in whatever industry we find ourselves. Whatever we do we work at it with all of our hearts, and in the process discover ourselves refashioned. As we place our workdays and our workplace before God as an offering, just like Wilberforce, we begin to see our everyday as the subversive fashioning of a new culture filled with hope and healing, a culture filled with the story and glory of God.

Day 1 - Wakening Up to Work: Mercy@Work

Day 1 - Wakening Up to Work: Mercy@Work

Day 1

Wakening up to work: mercy@work

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” @ Romans 12:1

Everything that gets separated from mercy gets severed from glory… and beauty and dignity. There is a tendency to separate the menial from mercy, and when that happens, our life at work becomes divorced from our faith. This is dangerous because when we fail to see the mercy of God at work, we miss the story of God at work, and when we miss the story of God at work, we miss the opportunity to partner with God at work.

And so, we begin dividing work into sacred and secular: into jobs that release the kingdom and jobs that resist the kingdom; into the important and irrelevant, into regular employment and kingdom assignment.

Therefore, God invites us to rethink everything we are, and everything we do, through the lens of mercy.  Gripped by mercy, we slowly understand that God’s mercy is everywhere, for everyone. It is with engineers and elders; designers and deacons. Gradually, instead of colliding, our faith and work connect. Instead of wrestling with the dilemma of quitting our jobs to pursue kingdom ministry, we realise that our job IS kingdom ministry. Ordinary ministry.

The revelation of his mercy allows us to see the kingdom at work. Mercy rewrites the story of the ordinary. Mercy connects God’s work and our work. Mercy allows work to become offering - worship. Seeing what we do (everything) through the lens of mercy is step one in recovering the beauty, dignity, and glory of work.