Sermon Series: Ministry in the Marketplace

Sermon Series: Ministry in the Marketplace September 18, 2016

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More good stuff from the Faith and Work Collective this week: ideas from United Methodist pastor Chris Howlett for a sermon series on Biblical perspectives about everyday work. Especially helpful for preachers like me who are having trouble thinking about how to speak about this to parishioners. (Even though I work for a faith and work website, I realize how little about work makes it into my sermons.)

I was once at an empowering laity for ministry seminar at a large church. The leader shared that she teaches lay people that their jobs are their work but their volunteering through the ministry of the church is their calling. I thought to myself, “That doesn’t really sound right. You mean that God intends forty to sixty hours of your life each week are intended just to pay the bills and whatever few hours a lay person spends volunteering for the church is their ministry?” This plays into a common mindset among American Christians, that work is morally inferior to “doing good.” Also, many of the people we preach to on Sundays feel that their work is something to be endured, survived, and hurried through until they’re off for the weekend. In some circles, work is even thought to be a result of the Fall.

How can we help people view their work as a gift from God that taps into their deepest aspirations, talents, and strengths and that fulfills God’s calling on their lives, not only to excel but to see their workplace as their primary mission field? [Read more]

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