Serve at Work
“Do you have a cigarette?” A man asked as I was heading into the library. I told him I didn't smoke, but I thought it would be a hard habit to quit. He informed me that it was even harder to quit crack.
"What kind of work do you do?" he asked.
I told him I was a pasor and I was going inside to write a sermon. Then he told me he was hungry. So, I invited him to meet me at the nearby gazebo for lunch around noon.
He was waiting for me when I arrived with cheeseburgers. While we ate, I asked, “Do you have a dream job?”
With great excitement, he told me he'd like to manage an after-school program where kids could learn computer skills. As we spoke, a police car pulled up to the library, and two officers headed toward us. I asked my new friend: “Are they looking for me or for you?”
As the officers requested to speak with him in private, I walked away and thanked God for the short time I had spent with this man and prayed that one day his dream would come true.
How could you serve God at work or on a lunch break? Mission does not have to be present in a job title to show up in the workplace. All places of employment have the potential to be transformed into a mission field. Serving God at work does not require a passport or divinity degreee.
The best place to start is with the job description. The standard job description assigns essential responsibilities in a workplace. Yet, we are created to accomplish more than basic requirements at work—we are created to love God and neighbor. And bare good fruit in the world, fruit such as love, joy, and faithfulness. Our world needs more from us than fulfilling basic requirements. We need to prayerfully seek ways to incorporate serving God into our current job descriptions. We may be surprised by the avenues already in place to serve in mission during the workday.
Jesus calls us to work that requires our whole self. We must go beyond the things we like to do and do the things God needs us to do. This week, may our prayers be bold and our ears attentive in serving God at our places of work.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established... The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps. Proverbs 16:3 and 9 New Revised Standard Bible Whatever you do [whatever your task may be ], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for me. Colossians 3:23, Amplified Bible
How can you incorporate serving God in one or more areas of your job?
Where can you talk more about God and less about yourself at work?
Print our your job description. Pray through your job responsibilities. Seek the Spirit's guidance in determining new ways to walk in faith behind the desk and in the field.
The kind of work God usually calls you to is the king of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done... The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." - Rev. Frederick Buechner
What would it look like to be who you truly are, to claim your real name and to reclaim your real voice? The English word voice comes from the Latin root word Voc- or Vox, The same root from which we get the word location. Most importantly, our sense of purpose and vocation is an integral part of our God-given design. From the beginning, God‘s people had a twofold purpose: to know God intimately, but also to represent him in the world. The Dream of You by Jo Saxton
We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed. - Brother Lawrence
God of work and rest,
you long for us to live in love and justice
with our neighbors
with colleagues and strangers
and with people everywhere.
In our faith, help us to serve you
in our decisions
at our work
and throughout our world. Amen.