Coming soon to—a beautiful new design. Get an early look

Jump directly to the content
Guest | Limited Access

Subsciber access onlyarticle preview

Available to TCW subscribers only. or subscribe now.

Amy Sherman on Redeeming Work

Why our job matters

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 4Next PageLast Page

Most people spend 40 to 50 percent of their time at work. The marketplace is primarily where Christians have the opportunity to be salt and light and help people know Jesus. And yet the church rarely preaches or teaches on the value of our vocations in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Amy Sherman, author of Kingdom Calling and a researcher at the Sagamore Institute, gave a keynote address at the first Leadership Journal Live event in Chicago this March titled "Why Vocation Really Matters." I met with Amy after her talk to continue the conversation on why our jobs matter, and how our work can be redeemed. Here's what she had to say:

As Christians, why does what we do matter?

Jesus told us to go and make disciples. But discipleship that doesn't address 40 percent of life (the amount of time most people spend working) isn't properly discipling people. Recent research shows that fewer than 10 percent of congregants can recall when their pastor preached on work. Two-thirds of the people Barna surveyed say it's been at least three years since they heard a sermon on work and career. My friend, Steve Garber, says that vocation is integral—not incidental—to fulfilling the mission of God in the world. If we're not talking about work and vocation from the pulpit, from the Christian worldview, then we're leaving Christians to listen to messages on work from the culture.

What messages does the world feed us about our work?

For one, we're inundated with the message that we need to over-work. Americans work more hours than citizens of nearly any other country. I've begun to realize how I've fallen into this trap myself. I've been struggling with health issues in the past couple of years. This year I'm paring back my work to give myself time to heal and recuperate. I've felt embarrassed because I'm not as busy as I usually am. The fact that I feel embarrassed because I'm not busy enough is a clue to me that work is an idol.

How are you changing your perspective on this?

The Lord has encouraged me in this area. I was reading a devotional booklet (not something I normally do), and the comment that struck me was Jesus saying, "I love you as much when you're walking as when you're running, and when you're sitting as when you're standing." Jesus cares about what I do. It's good to be excited about doing things for God and having an active role in his Kingdom. But he delights in me whether I'm working or not. I needed to be reminded of this reality.

article preview

This article is currently available to TCW subscribers only.

To Continue Reading:

Marian Liautaud

Marian V. Liautaud is director of marketing at Aspen Group. Follow her on Twitter @marianliautaud

Subscribe to TCW at this link, and sign up for our free e-newsletter to become part of a community of women striving to love God and live fearlessly in the grit of everyday life.
From Issue:
Today's Christian Woman, 2014, April Week 4
Posted April 23, 2014

read these next

for further study

Downloadable resources to go deeper

Your Guide to Sexual Satisfaction

God's plan for sex is multidimensional-here's how to move past making pleasure your goal to seek a more intimate connection with your spouse.

Living Water

A three-session Bible study designed to quench your soul thirst and invite others in.

Practicing Contentment

In our culture, we have more, but seem to enjoy life less. Here are tips on how to foster deep, counter-cultural contentment in your life.

Sexual Temptation

Desire happens. Here's how to keep a misled God-given desire from ruining our lives.
Today's Christian Woman
Amy Sherman on Redeeming Work