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.1