of Work as Worship
God designed work before the Fall.
Like every other system and structure (nature, family, government, etc.) on the planet, God designed work to bring Him glory. Work was given to us in the Garden before the Fall. Humans have corrupted many God-designed things for selfish gain, but that doesn’t make them less important to God. For example, our culture has perverted sex to the point where it is difficult to see it as the blessing God created it to be. Are we willing to be used by God to bring Him glory though our work? What does that look like?
We are called to a mission.
We didn’t become Christians and then instantly go to heaven. God has a purpose for us on this earth. That calling is to be on mission for God whether we work at a church, school, software company, bank, or in the home. How can we validate this calling in the life of people wherever they work each day?
The Church is the people—not the building.
Every week the Church goes to work. We have to stop compartmentalizing life into “spiritual activities” and “work activities.” Church leaders and business people must work together if we are truly going to see millions of business people unleashed on mission for God. How are we living examples of the gospel while we work?
Work impacts our perspective of God.
Regardless of our age or position, everyone is impacted directly by the workplace. Our attitude and perspective on work bleeds into how we treat our spouse, our kids, and ultimately our understanding of God. In fact, God uses our relationships, successes, failures, and experiences at work as a significant tool in our spiritual formation. If we work 45 hours per week for 45 weeks a year for 45 years, that’s 91,125 hours spent at work. The sheer amount of time we spend at work will impact our view of life. How can we give business people and families a healthy perspective of work that will impact generations to come?
God uses work to impact communities.
In addition to providing a place to exercise our individual calling, God uses business and work to serve communities. Productive work affects other people. God’s design for work isn’t simply that people will earn a paycheck, but that society will benefit from healthy business. How can we broaden people’s perspective to not only see the benefit they receive from work, but also see the benefit their work brings to their community?
All of life can be worship.
Many people associate worship simply with music, but it’s so much bigger. In every attitude, action, and relationship we can demonstrate the worth that God is due—that’s worship. In the context of work, we can worship God in a variety of ways: through obeying God’s command to steward His creation; through our attitude, ethics, and excellence in our job; through leveraging resources to generously serve those in need; through sharing our faith with co-workers. Ultimately all of our “work as worship” is for the purpose of glorifying God and sharing Jesus in word and deed with those who don’t know Him. How can we challenge people to worship every day and not just during the 20 minutes of singing on Sunday morning?
We don’t work to earn God’s favor.
In God’s economy, it’s not what you can do for God, it’s what He does through you. The business culture can be so performance-based that it’s tempting to transfer that mindset into our relationship with God. Are we encouraging people to do ministry activities to earn God’s favor, or are we challenging them to be used by God in every endeavor?
Work as worship, but don’t worship work.
While we can worship through our work, we must not worship our work. Our identity is not ultimately in our job but in Christ. Our work is a God-given opportunity to care for our families, fulfill our calling and bring glory to God. How can we help people see work as an opportunity and not an identity?