You will spend 3,500 days of your life at work. Or at least you will if you’re an average British worker. That’s 84,000 hours or over 5 million minutes. Your work fills more of your waking hours than anything else in your life. So if you’re serious about Jesus being Lord of your life, you must know what the Bible says about the largest part of your day. But is this the case for most Chrisitans?
Ken Costa says “many people do not see God as a 24/7 God, but as a withdrawn actor confined to a Sunday show”. He talks of how a ‘sacred/secular’ divide means that many see the church service, prayer meeting and Alpha course as far more worthy than the office, classroom, and hospital. This view is influenced far more by Greek thought than the Bible, where God is described as an artist (Genesis 1:1), a potter (Isaiah 64:8), a shepherd (John 10:11) a builder (Hebrews 3:4) and ‘always at work’ (John 5:17). Although many of us know in our heads that God is interested in everything we do, the sacred/secular divide, is amazingly pervasive.
I realised this a while back, a couple of years into working with students (of the international variety). I had started to get more and more emails from those who’d recently graduated telling me how they struggled to connect their Christian faith to their work. What to do about the long hours? Should they ‘bend’ the rules? When did ‘chatting’ become ‘gossip’? And other such questions. I looked at what we, Transformations Leeds, and local churches, had taught them in our discipleship, particularly as many of them had become Christians at university. I noticed that we’d covered how to pray, how to read the Bible, how to share their faith, why church is important but we’d never even mentioned the workplace in our discipleship! No wonder they had questions!!
"A ‘sacred/secular’ divide means that many see the church service, prayer meeting and Alpha course as far more worthy than the office, classroom, and hospital."
That was when I vowed to make sure we covered the topic of work through our ministry and encouraged our church partners to do the same. We’ve used Ken Costa’s excellent ‘God at work’ material, and referred people to Mark Greene’s Thank God it’s Monday which has certainly made a difference. More students respond to the teaching like Janet from India: “I now believe that the place to work out your faith isn’t just at church. What you do in your workplace is ministry, just as much as singing in the choir is at church.”
However, one thing that students still asked for was the opportunity to learn from older Christians in their sphere of work. This request was, in part, behind why we started our annual conference ‘Transforming your World’, equipping Christians to be godly influencers in their workplace and culture. This year it’s online, so you can easily benefit from it as well. Whether you’re graduating this year and entering the world of work, a recent graduate or a student worker wanting a better grasp on the ‘work’ issue Transforming your World will help you Biblically and introduce you to some inspiring people.
Krish Kandiah will give us Biblical principles for the workplace from the book of Daniel and there will be seminars from experienced Christians in the areas of business, health, education and the charitable sector. There’s even a student and early bird discount up until the 3rd April. So, why not invest some time in understanding God’s view of work. Investing 7 hours now can make all the difference to how you spend your 84,000 hours at work!
Transforming your World is organised by Transformations Leeds and runs on 24th & 25th April 2021.
Written by Phil Thomas, Director of Transformations Leeds