One of our Crossroads Career Network member church pastors – Derwin Gray of Transformation Church near Charlotte, NC – spoke passionately about the purpose of work – not just to survive but to thrive.
Here are a few thoughts from his sermon. Even better, watch the sermon yourself and follow along with the sermon outline.
Of the country’s 100 million plus full-time employees, 51 percent aren’t engaged at work — meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs, and thus they tend to do the bare minimum. Another 16 percent are “actively disengaged” — they resent their jobs, tend to gripe to co-workers and drag down office morale as a result.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, and you’re among the “not engaged at work, doing the bare minimum, and not actively engaged,” how do you think this affects your soul and your ability to develop skills to be successful at your job? How does it limit your ability to reach people at your job with the Gospel?
As it turns out, if you’re unhappy at work, your boss may be mostly to blame. Through no fault of their own, many supervisors are ill-equipped to manage people and all their idiosyncrasies. That’s because of the way employees typically rise to positions of power within organizations. Companies tend to hire people for supervisory roles based on tenure and success in previous jobs, which may not have entailed managing people.
How does living an Upward, Inward, Outward life transform you to manage and lead people? How do we thrive at work? You are designed for work by God because you’re made in the image of God, who is the ultimate worker (Genesis 2:1-3).
Have you ever thought of God as a worker? In Genesis, we see that God was a Creator and Investor who made the world as a home for all kinds of creativity to be ruled by His image-bearers, who in turn, create through their work.
God gave Adam a job to work (Genesis 2:15), Jesus worked (Mark 6:3), and Lydia worked (Acts 16:14). Marinate on this: work is an opportunity to worship through skills and relational ability at your place of employment. The “why” of why you work, will give you joy and purpose, not your work. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Thrive Killers at Work emphasized in the sermon:
- Impatience – We often want the shine without years and years of grinding. It takes years of education, training, mentoring, and experience to be an effective boss.
- Selfishness — We work for money, status and power; not for the glory of God, but the glory of self.
- Idolatry — We try to use our jobs to give us an identity, significance, and purpose, but only Jesus can do that.
Work is a good thing – a God thing – so you can reveal the King. Because of the Gospel, your work is an opportunity to worship Jesus. Therefore, growing in education, competency, skill, creativity, and managing people you work with and serve moves you towards excellence. Through your work, you have the ministry of reconciliation. God wants to turn spiritual enemies into friends and spiritual orphans into family and your life is how that happens by the Spirit’s power.
Your job is your mission field. Through your work or school, you are Christ’s ambassador, which means you are Jesus’ representative. For a deeper dive, download a copy of the Sermon Study Guide.