I’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. This is a subject of passion for me after meeting with so many who hate their jobs and see no kingdom fulfillment in them. But I’m also here in preparation for a few things that will be happening here next month, subscribe here to be notified about that.
I’ll be sharing a few posts throughout the day, as I’m able. Check out Leadership Journal’s page for more resources on these subjects.
Sessions 1 and 2:
Skye Jethani “The Evolution of Faith and Work”
“As a pastor I was too preoccupied with my calling instead of their calling.”
“There’s a gap between our functional Bibles and the actual Bible.”
This causes 3 blindspots:
- In our functional Bible creation starts in Genesis 3. We miss the good of what God created.
- The cultural creation mandate comes before the marriage mandate.
- “I didn’t have a theology of calling.”
- False dichotomy between the work of heaven (clergy) vs. the work of earth (laborers).
- Puritan theology of calling
- highest: union with God
- common: commands to all people
- specific: unique to the individual
- We focus on the idea of discontinuity, i.e. “Nothing on earth has an enduring presence.”
- Instead, the reality is “what we do now actually matters.”
- Our false focus discredits callings aside from evangelism, work of heaven.
- Recognize your blind spots
- Avoid sacred/secular divide
- Embrace the full scope of God’s redemption
AJ Sherrill “Equipping the Saint: Shaping Vocational Imagination”
In the late 1800s the best/most desired answer to the question “what do you do?” was “Nothing.”
In today’s world the best/most desired answer to the question “what do you do?” is always connected to work.
Identity is provided through work.
We put a disproportionate weight on occupation as it relates to vocation.
Cultivate a new focus in these areas:
- Genesis 1 presents God as the creative one, one who acts, does.
- “God didn’t achieve identity through work. God expressed identity through work.”
- “Whether your occupation is great or little…do you dare to think of it together with the responsibility of eternity.” -Kierkegaard
- The Empire State Building was originally designed with the secondary focus of being a blimp dock for sightseers.
- “A mature imagination discerns what is not, but longs to be.”
- Pastor as curator, not controller.
- A practice to be formed through
- A reminder that matter, matters.
- A reminder that God loves moving through the ordinary, mundane.
Summary: weekly church gatherings are one of the last remaining places gathering people from all sectors of life, we must inspire something from them.