Student Perspectives on Integrating Faith and Work

Last month I was privileged to teach a college course to twelve students in Canada. The course was entitled THEOLOGY OF BUSINESS, which essentially led us down a path of exploring how we should integrate faith and work in the marketplace.

One of the exercises required the student to think about how their proposed career in Kingdom Business relates to their church life goals and how they can mitigate the sacred-secular divide, which often exists between our lives of faith at home and at church, with living out that faith in our business.  Here are some of their interesting perspectives – in no specific order.

My church today needs to start engaging and making people think about how we can integrate faith with all areas of life, including work. It’s not all about how many people they can put in church on Sunday, but rather how they utilize the many talents and skills within the church to reach outside the church and influence people who would not step in church in their areas of life.

We are all servants to God and are capable of serving God’s Kingdom wherever we are. Missions is not an exclusive club, but a vast field of opportunities for anyone willing to serve the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is here! So, we need to reach people to bring them into the Kingdom we have inherited here on earth at this very moment. The gospel is not merely a proclamation of Jesus as Savior, but that God’s glory is here on earth with us now.

My desire for church mirrors the author, “our goal is not church planting. Our goal is personal and social transformation. For the Kingdom to engage all of society, there must be a new DNA in the church.”

I am quite grateful because there are seasons that my church would teach specifically about bringing God’s Kingdom to the workplace. 

Ministry mission is about the whole body of Christ exercising the passions and skills they have been given where they are to not only proclaim the gospel, but to serve and love the ones they are proclaiming to.

Ask yourself if the call is bigger than you. This is a crucial dimension as “Our calling is to build both the human community on earth and to build the community of faith.” We need to make sure that whatever we do is putting others first.

When Jesus came to the earth, He was a carpenter. Jesus would have worked during his time on earth. That is just such an astounding concept that, honestly, should not shock me but initially did. Work reflects God’s image in us. This responsibility, joy, and purpose is not something that we should feel burdened by nor take lightly.

I loved the analogy of a fish being “freed” from the river and placed in the grass to explore and how by doing this, the fish was less free.”  It is the same for us and work. Although we are not free from the restrictions, we are restricted by the right things and there is a sense of freedom in that.

Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures

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