Work, of some kind, is where most of us spend a significant proportion of our waking hours and therefore a significant proportion of our lives.
Whether barista or barrister, retailer or refuse collector, in a profession or the private sector, at home or office, parent or police officer, indoors or outdoors, student or retired, in training or mid-career, in countless different ways, with joys and frustrations, human beings work.
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15 ESV)
We’re persuaded that everything in life matters and that includes our work as a contribution to God’s vision for his created world, so we’re keen to offer help.
Church is not opposed to work, rather as Gabe Lyons puts it:
“Church gathers leaders from all other channels of cultural influence on a consistent basis.”
Church gathers for the good of our city, a place to catch a bigger picture, to spark ideas and gather energy for the week ahead.
Here are four resources that would be ideal to explore informally alongside a few friends in a similar or different line of work, in or across Community Groups, meeting from time to time to discuss and reflect and apply the lessons learned. Each is available from our NEXT STEPS LIBRARY on Sundays.
1. EVERY GOOD ENDEAVOUR (TIM KELLER)
This is a great place to start. Keller gives a clear framework for the way our work matters in this world.
Far from work being a burden or inconvenience Keller shows how we’re made to work and how this contributes to God’s purpose for his world.
2. VISIONS OF VOCATION (STEVEN GARBER)
Garber explores the meaning of work by interacting with leaders in education, politics and business and more.
“Vocation is when we come to know the world in all its joy and pain and still love it. Vocation is following our calling to seek the welfare of the world we live in. And in helping the world to flourish, strangely, mysteriously, we find that we flourish too. Garber offers a book for everyone everywhere―for students, for parents, for those in the arts, in the academy, in public service, in the trades and in commerce―for all who want to discover the virtue of vocation.”
3. FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD [FLOW] (EVAN KOONS)
A quirky seven part series of video’s that ask:
“What is Christian salvation for?”
Or to put it another way: What difference does it make to life if you follow Jesus?
Koons explores this theme with episodes considering the value of our relationships, justice and hospitality in society, our work as creative service, education and learning, our approach to creation, and the place of church in this story.
Each 17 minute video would be a good group discussion starter. Study guide available.
4. WISDOM & WONDER (ABRAHAM KUYPER)
The former Dutch Prime Minister lays out a vision for the value of scientific and artistic endeavour in our world. Kuyper is famous for saying:
There is not one square inch of all creation over which Christ does not say: “mine!”
Wisdom & Wonder ia a refreshing read from a previous century. This would be particularly helpful if you’re pursuing academic disciplines and would be a good follow on from episodes 5 & 6 of FLOW which address Wisdom and Wonder.
Further resources – written, audio and visual can be found at Qideas.org
Our work matters and there’s help here.