What might your work give to the world?

What might your work give to the world? September 18, 2014

Leadership Journal’s “LJ Live” Event in Denver: “REDEEMING WORK.”

Back on March 13 in Chicago, I took part in the first “Redeeming Work” event that Leadership Journal has been hosting around the country. Skye Jethani, Drew Dyck and the entire Leadership Journal team started out on the right foot at that event which featured our friend Amy Sherman.

Well they have continued these “LJ Live” Events in Minneapolis/St. Paul and then in Denver, and there are planning to do at least two more next year, in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Jeff Haanen, Executive Director of Denver Institute for Faith & Work, has written three posts at the Mission:Work channel at Patheos that serve as a very helpful summary of what happened at the Denver event that occurred on September 9th.

In “The world was waiting for YOU,” Jeff shares the message given by Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling and Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power.

Deliver-Us-From-Culture-220x300“The world was waiting for image-bearers” Crouch said, “Work, is a category of culture. And we lead a Christian community that has a very dysfunctional view of culture.”

Crouch shares a full-page newspaper ad on the screen. Two yellow hands covered in rubber gloves, overlaid with the words “Deliver Us From Culture.”  It advertised a Christian book entitled Soul Detox. The implicit message: culture is evil, and we need to separate from it.

Far too often, says Crouch, our distorted view of culture distorts our view of work. Not only do we condemn culture as dirty or contaminated, we far too often fall into continual postures of critiquing culture, copying it in an evangelical subculture, or simply consuming culture – a never ending stream of consumerism and passive reception of everything from the latest sit-com to the latest product.

Instead, Crouch believes we need to shift from a posture of protecting ourselves from culture to being discerning and creative.

read more here.

In “Connect YOUR work to GOD’s work and great things happen,” Jeff gives us a taste of what Amy Sherman, author of Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, had to say.

By ignoring topics related to work in the local church, many pastors, says Sherman, can inadvertently either make lay people feel like second class Christians (who are not “in the ministry”) or they miss an key opportunity for discipleship in a major area of people’s lives.

“Vocation is integral, not incidental, to the mission of God.” The phrase was first coined by Steve Garber of the Washington Institue for Faith, Vocation and Culture, and is central to why Sherman believes leaders need to make work a major part of their ministry and teaching.

read more here.

 

In “What might your work give to the world,” Jeff reports on the testimony of Hunter Beaumont, who worked for one of the Big Four accounting firms in Dallas, Texas before he went into vocational ministry. Now pastor at  Fellowship Denver Church and an Acts 29 pastor and area director, Beaumont is committed to knowing about the work of his people.

He regularly takes opportunities to listen about people’s work lives, and, as able, visits them in the workplace. Though he believes it’s unrealistic for pastors to understand every kind of work in a modern world with highly specialized industries, he believes they can know enough to be conversant. He also depends on partnership with organizations like Denver Institute for Faith & Work to help his congregation understand the implications of the gospel for their particular industry.

Beaumont says,

“We need to give them a theology for both creation renewal and personal renewal” and ““We need to move people from a view of work that says, What is this doing for me? to one that asks, What is this doing for the world?”

read more here.

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