Having lunch with Howard reminded me that I'd not yet blogged about their site. So here are links to some of the articles I've written for them, on topics from perseverance to anger to hope in adversity. One article I was asked to write was on "Is All Work a High Calling?" Here's an excerpt:
Christians in the workplace often wonder if what they do has eternal value or significance. Is all work in answer to God’s call? What about when work seems nonproductive or meaningless?
Let’s put this in a Christian framework. God created work to be good. God works, and we are created in His image. When we work, we reflect His divine purpose and intent.
But we also live in a fallen world. So we can’t give a blanket statement that all work is good. Some work is clearly bad. Some people’s “work” is morally wrong or downright evil. Theft and embezzlement, abortion and murder, prostitution, and drug trafficking fall outside God’s moral intent and plan.
Christians take heart that in Christ all work is redeemed and transformed. Virtually every job or profession is indeed a good and noble calling from God—and can reflect a divine purpose or intent for the world. Healthcare professionals, for example, reflect God’s identity as healer and Great Physician. Lawyers stand for justice and defend the oppressed, and law enforcement officers reflect God’s identity as judge and defender, refuge and shield. Christian judges, policemen, soldiers, and others participate in God’s justice.
Extend this to nearly every profession. Teachers and educators convey God’s wisdom and learning. Farmers, grocery store clerks, restaurateurs, cooks, and waiters participate in God’s good work to feed the hungry. Architects, builders, contractors and real estate agents help people gain needed shelter. Consider your own job and line of work. How might it reflect some aspect of God’s good character?
Let me also highlight Christianity Today's own FaithInTheWorkplace.com site that is produced in partnership with The High Calling (and also reprinted that same article). And here are some further thoughts on implications of the kingdom of God for business and work, in an article "A Company? No, More Like a Kingdom":
So why bring this up in reference to suburban Christianity? Simply this - being a missional suburban Christian is not just for suburban pastors or church planters. It's for all of us who live and work in suburbia. More people work in suburbia than in center cities. Most new industry is developing in suburban and exurban areas, like these tech corridors found in edge cities distanced quite some way from traditional urban areas. So suburban Christianity is not just a matter of transformation of residential neighborhoods and subdivisions - it's also about transformation of suburban commerce, industry and business as well.
Some people have told me to think of Jesus as my supervisor and God as my company’s CEO—and do my work to please them. Nice ideas, but for whatever reason, not helpful. Though my supervisor and CEO are both Christians, I rarely think that working for them is like working for Jesus. In fact, I have a hard time imagining Jesus as a corporate executive.
On the other hand, I often think about what it means that Jesus is king. He declared that the Kingdom of God is at hand. As Christians, we are the King’s servants. And as in medieval days, every king needs kingdom workers. Some are knights who protect the subjects. Others are artisans, craftsmen, and merchants. Some till the land. Others heal the sick. Some educate and raise the young. Some herald the king’s news. Every role is significant if a kingdom is to function effectively and the king is to rule justly. No kingdom runs by itself.
So instead of thinking of Jesus as CEO of my modern-day company, it helps to imagine myself as a medieval serf at work in a particular corner of the king’s realm. I get a better sense of how my daily job might serve my king. I am entrusted with certain work and deployed as a kingdom servant. My labor helps my king bring peace and justice to the land.