Category Archives: Marketplace Faith

How Does My Work Life And Faith In Jesus Connects?

God At Work_HOW DOES MY WORK LIFE AND FAITH IN JESUS CONNECTS

Work can be a daily grind; a hard, monotonous set of thankless tasks. In the midst of the toil, many are plagued by a lack of purpose, confused as to what to do and who to become. And while some of our vocations may seem more overtly meaningful than others’, the truth is that most of us work because we have to. It is a means to an end―survival. So a person of faith can rightly ask the question, how does my work life and faith in Jesus connect?

Every kind of work is a sacred calling. However, again, how does my work life and faith in Jesus connect? How does Sunday relate to Monday? What difference does the gospel make when I am stocking shelves, turning wrenches, or answering phones?

“The priesthood of all believers did not turn all Christians into pastors. But it did turn every kind of work into sacred calling.”

These are the types of questions that commonly haunt the everyday, ordinary Christian. For those who are serious and sincere in their faith, but who are not part of a pastoral staff or religious nonprofit, what role do they play in God’s kingdom on a day-to-day basis?

Connecting the dots between the Christian faith and missionary work is easy. Connecting the dots for truck drivers, politicians, union leaders, the police and dental assistants is hard. They are therefore entitled to ask, over and over again, how does my work life and faith connects?

How Does My Work Life And Faith Fits Every Kind Of ‘Sacred’ Work?

How does my faith in Jesus connect with my work life?

Gene E. Veith’s book God at Work has quickly become a classic in the Faith and Work titles. Written in 2002, Veith approaches the conversation, employing the Lutheran framework for vocation that emerged amidst the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

The Reformers, especially Luther, sought to reclaim the notion of calling (vocatio in Latin) for the Christian laity.

Recommended: Falwell Marketplace Faith And Evangelicals Theology or Worklife Frustration, Desperation, And Wrong Steps

Veith writes, “In scrutinizing the existing ecclesiastical system in light of the Gospel and the Scriptures. The Reformers insisted that priests and nuns and monastics did not have a special claim to God’s favor. But that laypeople, too could live the Christian life to its fullest.”

Work (Vocation), Life (Family, Citizenship, Church), And The Priesthood

This dovetailed nicely with the well-known reformational emphasis on the priesthood of all believers. The doctrine that “all Christians enjoy the same access to Christ and are spiritually equal before Him.”

“The doctrine of vocation, though it has to do with human work, is essentially about God’s work. It is also about how God works in and through our lives.”

The “priesthood of all believers,” Veith clarifies, did not turn all Christians into pastors. But it did turn “every kind of work into sacred calling.”

Building upon this foundation, Luther and the Reformers recognized multiple callings for every Christian. This includes the calling to work, family, citizenship, and church.

Two-Kingdom’s Model: The Super-Efficiency Of One Compared To Another

Each of these vocational categories receive a chapter in Veith’s book. But, before diving into these, he considers “How God Works through Human Beings.” There, he employs the Lutheran Two-Kingdom’s model to explain how God works through means.

Following Luther, Veith puts forward distinct spiritual and earthly kingdoms. He explained that God uses the spiritual kingdom to restore sinners and to rule in their hearts, equipping them for everlasting life.

Just as God uses the means of the church to accomplish the purposes of his spiritual kingdom, he also works through means of the earthly kingdom, especially natural law, to accomplish his plans.

He as well works through the so-called “secular” vocations of people in the earthly kingdom. “That is, He institutes families, work, and organized societies, giving human beings particular parts to play in His vast design.”

How Does My Work Life And Faith Addresses The Purpose of Vocation?

Veith also addresses “The Purpose of Vocation,” “Finding Your Vocations,” and “Your Calling as a Worker.”

He writes that vocation is played out, not just in extraordinary acts, the great things we will do for the Lord. And not in the great success we envision in our careers someday. But in the realm of the ordinary.

He then encourages that we demonstrate our ‘vocation’ in whatever we face in the often humdrum present. Which can be while washing the dishes, buying groceries, going to work, driving the kids somewhere, or hanging out with friends. He believes this is the realm into which we have been called and in which our faith bears fruit in love.

Connecting Work-Life, Faith, Today’s Misery And Tomorrow’s Greatness?

This emphasis on the “ordinary” is right and beautiful and has gained greater traction in recent years. An arguable extension of the “faith and work” movement has been the revival of interest in everyday liturgies. This see all of life as sacred and holy, purposeful before God, despite how extraordinary it may or may not be.

Veith goes on to say, that “the doctrine of vocation, though it has to do with human work, is essentially about God’s work and how God works in and through our lives.” If there were a one-sentence summary to the book, this would be it.

He repeats this idea at the end of chapter five, reflecting on those who responded to the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Those responders insisted their bravery was simply, “doing their jobs.”

Veith responded this way, “That is the doctrine of vocation. Ordinary men and women expressing their love and service to their neighbor, ‘just doing our jobs.’”

Reflections

Veith’s God at Work made a deep impact upon its release in 2002 and continues to occupy an important place in the ongoing conversation on faith, work, and vocation.

May God at Work remain not only on the shelves of those teaching and preaching about Christian vocation. But may it find its way to the bedside table of all Christians, that each may become a mature and ministering worker of God.

Welcome to WorkLife Feed articles and site-files indexing and adaptation series.

ERLC Editor’s Note: The original article is part of ERLC’s primer series on Christians ethics. It is where a respected leader and thinker recommends and gives a summary overview of a book that helps orient readers to a certain aspect of ethics and philosophy. This series is designed to equip the local church to engage foundational texts of Christian ethics. Find the entire series here.

Falwell Marketplace Faith And Evangelicals Theology

FALWELL MARKETPLACE FAITH AND EVANGELICALS THEOLOGY

This is not about Falwell marketplace faith. No! This is me thinking about the state of my personal marketplace faith. How wobbly I am walking, how low I may have sank. Yes, that is what has got me doing this. Am actually just thinking out aloud.

I am writing in the cloud, perhaps there are fellow pilgrims out there, facing the same battles. Praying and looking on to the cloudy heavens for help. That is why I am writing this in the cloud, for it to take hold of that one, sinking in the marketplace mire clay.

My earnest hope is that someone out there will also be a child of encouragement; a challenge to our faith, a marketplace faith leader.

Shortening The Distance Between Sunday And Monday Morning, Lest We Forget

Have you ever heard questions like these: How can we shorten the distance between what we hear on Sunday and what we face on Monday? How can we discuss our workplace conflicts in a church setting? How can we give one another the support and counsel we need to be faithful disciples in our daily work?

The world will not judge the church on the basis of its statement of faith, but on the quality of its life.

As a new decade unfolds, new HR jobs will appear, and some will disappear, (see Fired from your HR Job, it doesn’t exist in 2022 future). Have you also heard of some new roles emerging in the body of Christ? Occupation Pastoral Assignment Manager, Occupation Pastoral Assignment Engineer, Occupation Pastoral Assignment Director etc. Yes, the new nomenclature for Christians in the market place.

Falwell Marketplace Faith And Evangelicalism Has A Problem: It Is Called Evangelicals

Should I be worried about when I will get caught, or how cleverly I can continue, if I may ever be caught?

It is not a new problem. Evangelicals have been giving evangelicalism a bad name for years. The disconnect between the gospel proclaimed by some prominent evangelicals, and the lifestyle exhibited by them, sometimes is impossible to ignore.

The scandals associated with such names as Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Tilton, Jim and Tammy Bakker, and many others follow the familiar road of greed, sex and power. It’s not like these people didn’t know better. These are issues Jesus and his apostles addressed.

“Values are not what we say about ourselves, but the reason we live the way we do.”

– Relevant Christianity

These moral failures point to an underlying problem that is not merely ethical but theological. The latest scandal involving Jerry Falwell Jr. is a case in point.

Between The Values Of Mennonite Economic Development Associates And Falwell Marketplace Faith

Falwell Jr. was, until recently, the president of Liberty University, which was founded by his famous televangelist father. During Falwell Jr.’s tenure, Liberty saw student enrollment increase phenomenally, making it the largest school in the country. Falwell’s name recognition has also increased in recent years, in large part because of his political activism. Falwell has become one of the most familiar names in evangelicalism.

You may also like, Work-Family Balance Was Tough. Then The Pandemic Hit or Ending A No Sex Emotional Affair And It’s Roller Coaster

When candidates in the 2016 presidential campaign sought the highly prized support of evangelicals, the first place they turned was Liberty University. Ted Cruz launched his campaign there. Falwell allowed him to announce his candidacy from the Liberty campus arena and even required the student body to attend.

Marketplace Faith, In The Face Of Politics, Standing Before Ceaser, Then Bowing Before Pilate

It looked as if Cruz had the inside lane on evangelical support but then, in an unexpected move, Falwell endorsed Donald Trump. Interviews followed. Speaking engagements. Falwell called candidate Trump “a man who … can lead our country to greatness again.” Photo ops with the candidate followed. At one point, according to Falwell, Mr. Trump discussed with him the possibility of serving as the United States Secretary of Education.

It can be hard for a Christian to remain true to his or her moral standards in the marketplace. With its “in your face” sexual temptations, opportunities for cheating, emphases on ambition, money, achievement of power through domination and diminution of others.

If you endeavour to live as a Christian in the workplace, your morality will be tested on many levels. You will find it is easier to go along with the crowd, ceding a little here and there, until you don’t realise you have crossed the line. 

– Relevant Christianity

Falwell Marketplace Faith And Liberty University

All I knew about Jerry Falwell Jr. prior to his highly publicized endorsement of Donald Trump, was that Liberty University had grown wildly in just a few years under his leadership. With regard to the academic health of the university, this seemed reckless to me. Then began the trickle of reports of questionable behavior, which grew into a stream, and then a cataract.

Mr. Falwell insists that he has been targeted by the Left because of his support of President Trump. I don’t doubt that he is right. He painted the target on his own back when he threw his support to Mr. Trump in 2016. But he has no call to complain. He is the one who gave his opponents their ammunition.

I Am Not A Pastor – I Am Just An ‘Occupation Pastoral Assignment Manager

I sensed there was a problem when Falwell defended himself against accusations of hypocrisy by saying, “I have never been a pastor.” He seemed to suggest that only pastors are expected to live by biblical standards of holiness. He has repeated this kind of thing a number of times, most recently around the time of his resignation.

Falwell’s misunderstanding exposes a theological fault that runs through evangelicalism. The false idea, as Christopher Wright puts it. That, “there can be a belief of faith separate from the life of faith. That people can be saved by something that goes on in their heads without worrying too much about what happens in their lives.”

“Christians in the marketplace are usually accountable to a Boss, Board or shareholders; regulatory and taxation authorities and to their peers and families. They are also accountable to their Heavenly Master.”

– Relevant Christianity

This belief persists in evangelicalism despite the abundance of biblical teaching against it, in both Old and New testaments. St. Paul himself, who never budged from his insistence that people are saved by grace through faith, absolutely refused to divide faith from life. He characterized his life work as bringing about, “the obedience of faith … among all the nations.”

Falwell Marketplace Faith (FMF) Or A ‘What Will Jesus Do’ Marketplace Faith

Is there anything to define as a Falwell Marketplace Faith (FMF), or a ‘What Will Jesus Do’ Marketplace Faith (wwJdMF)? Maybe not clearly yet. But is there a divide between faith and life – whether in Jerry Falwell Jr. or in any of us? Is this one reason why so many people find it hard to take seriously the claims of Jesus Christ?

As Wright said, “the moral state of those who claim to be God’s people … is a major hindrance to the mission we claim to have on [Christ’s] behalf.”

“The obedience of faith” is not a matter for pastors only, as Mr. Falwell implied, but for everyone who claims to belong to Christ. The world will not judge the church on the basis of its statement of faith, but on the quality of its life.

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Shayne Looper is the pastor of Lockwood Community Church in Coldwater, Michigan. His blog, “The Way Home,” is at shaynelooper.com.

Myfwl/Work Life Feed re-adapted the write up for our readers. Original script by Shayne Looper is available at Canton Daily Ledger.

Relevant Christianity was the source of Christian Values in the Marketplace and Faith Dilemmas for Marketplace Christians is from MEDA. The Shayne Looper write up or it’s re-adapted version by Myfwl has no link with Relevant Christianity or MEDA.


MEDA – Who We Are: Creating business solutions to poverty

MEDA – Mennonite Economic Development Associates – is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. For over 65 years, MEDA has been creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, measureable and replicable.

MEDA began as an association of Mennonite business people who believed they were called to be faithful in generously sharing their abilities and resources. Continuing in that Christian tradition, MEDA welcomes all who share our values and want to join us in our mission.


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Work-Family Balance Was Tough. Then The Pandemic Hit.

Work-Family Balance Was Never Easy. Then the Pandemic Hit.

The pandemic-induced shutdown has showed us, among other lessons, how hard it really is to juggle work-family balance.

Christians Jeff and André Shinabarger started wondering about this tension long before the pandemic. “We say oftentimes that if we change the world and lose our family, we lose,” Jeff said. “And that starts with my relationship with André, our individual relationship, and how that impacts the rest of our family.”

The career on a road trip

Over two years ago, the Shinabargers—husband Jeff, the founder of startup network Plywood People and wife André, a physician’s assistant—launched a podcast called Love or Work. They were interviewing couples and relationship experts about marriage, family, purpose, work-life balance and how they are prioritizing their vocations and their marriages.

Now Jeff and André have co-authored Love or Work: Is It Possible to Change the World, Stay in Love & Raise a Healthy Family?

The Shinabargers recently spoke from their home in Atlanta with author Dorcas Cheng-Tozun. They discussed how Christians might think through the tension around work, ambition, relationships, and parenting during these unusual times.

Recommended: SARAH BORIS ON WHY WE ALL NEED TO TAKE STEPS BACK FROM WORK

In the book you address head-on that managing work-family balance is much harder for women. What would you say to women who are really struggling to have it all?

André: We wrote this book before COVID. And now, we’re like, “Oh, it’s even more important.” The tension was real before COVID, and now the tension is exponentially more real. If anyone feels it, it’s the working mom, and especially, the single working mom.

In our research, it was pretty evident that men did not sacrifice their work for their partner as much as women sacrificed for men. As we’re seeing with COVID, all of a sudden, all the childcare responsibilities seem to automatically get delegated to the woman.

I get that we often birthed the child out of our bodies, but the kid belongs to both of us. The male, the person you’re partnering with, has just as much responsibility for the childcare and for what happens to these kids than the woman.

“It’s hard for me to see that women are the ones who are going to pull out of the workforce.”

If it was a true partnership, men would be just as likely to pull out of the workforce as women.

Jeff and I talk a lot about moving from patriarchy to partnership. Having the viewpoint that whatever works best for your family, is what should be done.

What statistic in your research most surprised you?

André: The first is that people are so optimistic. 95 percent of people believe that you can do it all. You can both work, have a healthy family, and stay in love. 83 percent of couples say that working has made them better parents.

I thought that was really interesting too because oftentimes I think I’m not the best parent because I’m out working. I feel guilty or somewhat discouraged that I’m not with my kids more.

“It was interesting to see that the things we are sacrificing are our physical, spiritual, mental, emotional health. We’re going after it, we’re doing it all, and then we’re needing to sacrifice. We’re sacrificing ourselves, really.”

Yet there are also so many that say they’re exhausted, they’re tired, they feel overwhelmed. They aren’t able to really stay healthy.

Only 29 percent say they’re satisfied with their physical health, and 21 percent with their financial security. These are dual-income couples.

How has your faith affected the way you’ve pursued all these things together—marriage, family, and work?

Jeff: Both of us have a deep perspective that we were made to do things unique, and that is part of our calling. What’s interesting is that, pieces of our past would say that only one of our callings is most important.

And that is not true with what we believe related to our faith. How we were made, designed, and created. What’s interesting is that, if I believe those things for me and I believe those things for André, then it’s shaped how we live, not just how I live.

We’ve had to have some interesting conversations about how we were raised in our faith, and what our faith is today. Those have been constants for us—how we’re made, what our sense of work and calling includes, and how that has played out in our partnership.

Coming from an evangelical background, I can sometimes think it’s wrong or selfish to want it all. It’s like I have a voice inside of me saying, I should just be content with what I have. I shouldn’t strive so hard to have so much.

A ‘stronger’ half to work, a ‘better’ half to sacrifice work out of love or it’s just the voice of patriarchies past

André: Our faith has affected the way we’ve pursued all these things together—marriage, family, and work? And I agree with this one hundred percent. That is something that we as women who have been raised in the church have often felt. It’s been modeled for us.

We haven’t been able to speak in the churches. We haven’t been able to be pastors. We’ve been relegated to childcare and hospitality ministries. When that is your model, then what do you think that you’re supposed to do as you get older?

I think it’s so limiting to the fullness of what God has created for women to be and do. We’re limiting the gifts that we have, that God has given us as women. We are doing this by just holding onto these patriarchal viewpoints that the church has taught us throughout history.

I’m just not for it anymore.

I can’t imagine a God that would hold me back and say you’re not quite good enough for that. I don’t believe it.

Quite frankly, I think God wants the fullness of us to be lived. We never question a man if he has these huge dreams and passions, and wants to live them out. We never question him and ask if that’s selfish. But we definitely do that for women.

Jeff: Sometimes we think that voice is the right voice. We think that’s God. If André said that to me, I would tell her, “Don’t let the voice of patriarchies past define or minimize your purpose of the future.”

That is the not the voice of fear that our family will listen to going forward.

We are collectively in a really difficult season right now. Most couples I know, especially if they have young kids, are overstretched. Many families are struggling significantly with financial stress and isolation. What encouragement can you give to couples during this season?

Jeff: This is an unusual time. It’s a time that hopefully as a family we’ll all remember as uniquely different. We’ve spent more time as a close nuclear family than we may ever in our lives.

Accepting that as the new reality and enjoying the time together is the opportunity. That’s the beautiful side of it. I’ve talked to many families who feel closer than they ever have, to the people that they should be closest to.

I also would say that if you haven’t addressed things in your relationship with your partner, a lot of that stuff will come out during this time. And it can make thing very difficult.

One thing we learned through our research was that we each individually need time on our own, and we need time together.

In the midst of the pandemic, we also need to get creative, and figure out what a little date night can look like. When we do, we are reminded of how much we love each other.

Now that you’ve completed all your research and written your book, how would you answer the question in your subtitle – Is it Possible to Change the World, Stay in Love & Raise a Healthy Family – have a work-family balance?

Jeff: I do believe it’s possible. And I think it’s really hard. The only way it can work for us is if we’re on the same team and are for one another.

In order for us to both do this, we both have to give up things at times to be able to maintain it all. And we have both given up opportunities at times for the sake of the other.

It is one of the things that came out in our research. We would ask all these people this question at the end of our podcast – is it possible to change the world, stay in love & raise a healthy family – have a work-family balance?

Again, 95 percent of the people said, “Yes, it’s possible.” And then they would all say, “But…” And they would have some caveat they would add —every single one of them. So that was this commonality we saw. A lot of things have to work together, and you have to work together with the person you love to make it happen.

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun is an award-winning writer, editor, and international communications consultant. She is the editorial director of the new Reclaim Magazine and the author of Start, Love, Repeat: How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World. Also, author of Let There d.light: How One Social Enterprise Brought Solar Products to 100 Million People. Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, has also written about the unique dynamics around faith, calling, and marriage. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.

Myfwl/Work Life Feed re-adapted the write up for our readers. Click here to view the full original write up at www.christianitytoday.com

Check this out, Strategy To Manage Kids While Working From Home

Christian Business Network

Marketplace Faith and lessons from the Christian Business Network

https://christianbusinessnetwork.com/

This is to assist in ensuring that we use our faith to sustain ourselves in the marketplace.