Empowering the Church For Faith at Work

redeeming work portlandI’m spending the day at Redeeming Work in Portland, a conversation hosted by Christianity Today and Leadership Journal, focused on the intersection of faith and work. I’m excited to announce (in a few weeks) a few things that will be happening here next month in a similar vein as this. Subscribe here to be notified about that.

Check out my post from earlier today if you’d like to see notes from sessions 1 and 2. Here’s sessions 3 and 4:

AJ Sherrill Equipping the Saints: Empowering the Church For Faith at Work

Focus passage: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-20, the ministry of reconciliation.

When it comes to moving forward, begin with the end in mind and work backward.

Influence involves three separate areas: people, products, policies.


“God must like ordinary folk—he made so many of us.” Abraham Lincoln

Never grumble, never gossip, choose to glorify God. When we commit to these things, over-time we become trustworthy. This isn’t spectacular, but it is faithful. And doing faithful things is always the beginning for something spectacular.

The ministry of reconciliation is not just for the elite and powerful.


Example: mid-level management, one step above the bottom, a place of greater influence

Think through the questions: what impact on culture is your work having? What are we saying about human dignity? What are we saying about “the good life”?


The words used to shape the direction of the future. Upper level management, executive management.

There is no work environment that is culturally or socially neutral. Organizations and cultures are dynamic, not static. They change based on who is in the room.

Connecting and Collaborating

Trinity Grace Church example:

  • Industry Renewal Nights: various sectors of industry are given opportunity to connect at events, twice a year.
  • Industry Roundtables: focus one specific industry, staff organized and served but lay led, invite trusted industry leaders to engage other industry workers on collaboration ideas.

We get easily tired of talk and conversations. When it comes to connecting and collaboration, conversations are never the end goal but they always the beginning. Genesis 1 and John 1 begin with a conversation. Conversations get things moving.

Kevin Palau “The Life of the Church: Learning to Work With the Community”

Seasons of Service: leverage churches and organizations to serve the communities around them.

What have they learned in the past decade?

  • The need for a long term vision and commitment to serving the city (20+ years…). The problems took decades to develop, so the work of service will take decades for trust to be built.
  • The utmost importance of establishing relationships. Their work of getting churches to collaborate is key to extending reach and relationships for the common good.
  • The significance of celebrating and accelerating what God is already doing in the city. It’s so easy to overlook and move past what God is already doing. Just doing the work of telling the story of how God is moving gives space for people to catch the vision for the future. Help tell the stories of what others are doing, rather than finding ways to take credit.
  • The value of embracing unlikely partnerships and being willing to set aside our differences both inside and outside the church in order to serve.
  • The importance of truly believing that the “Good News” is good news for our city. If it hasn’t been a transformative Good News for us, it can’t be Good News for them.