Work, Calling and Faith

Via Pinterest.
Via Pinterest.

Over a month ago a friend asked me how I share my faith in the workplace. That was the gist of her email anyway, and I looked at it for a while, somewhat dumbfounded, and finally said, “Who the heck knows!”

Out loud, at work.

I didn’t respond to her email, but I’m counting this as my response. So, fair warning to all of you, if you send me a message, be careful! It could be used as blog fodder.

My spiritual journey weaves in and out of periods of legalism. I was in spaces that felt incredibly inauthentic. I tried to force myself to fit in and confronted the pain of realizing it wasn’t going to happen. My spiritual journey has led me to a place full of deep questions, many without answers, meaningful relationships, and lots, and lots of vulnerability. I’ve learned that God loves me in spite of what I believe.

Long story short, life is grey, faith is grey. It’s just about Jesus.

So now work, and how to share your faith.

Just don’t pull out a track and you’ll probably be fine.

Just kidding.

But actually, don’t do that.

The best way to share your faith at work is to do the work that God has called you to do and do it well.

Yup.

That’s it.

You could spout the gospel message all day long at your job, but if you do crappy work no one is going to give a rats ass about what you have to say. They’re just going to get annoyed because you suck at your job.

The best book on work that I know of is “Every Good Endeavor” by Timothy Keller. In it, he creates a beautiful picture of God’s purpose for work. At a high level, work is about calling. It’s about doing the job that God created and planned for you to do. It’s about leaning into your talents, strengths and gifts and not wasting them. It’s about making sacred the secular and offering up your 9-to-5, or sometimes 6-to-6 plus weekends to God.

I’m not saying you won’t have the chance to share the Gospel, because you probably will. But the Gospel is best delivered in the midst of a trusting relationship where the person who is bringing the Gospel message has done more than their fair share of listening well. That can take months if not years, especially in Minnesota where stoic Sweds litter the frozen tundra.

Calling isn’t easy.

Not at all.

It’s terrifying. Stepping into who God truly created you to be means giving up complete control.

My friend Lee just started working for this company called “Branded by J. Otto.” As a future (hopefully) entrepreneur, I’m obsessed with people who start their own businesses. Branded by J. Otto’s CEO and founder, Jessie, felt called to start a business that allowed people to show up at decisive moments in their friends lives. She wanted to create something that was an alternative to sending flowers or an edible arrangement. What she came up with was at its essence, a clothing company that has a greater purpose.

Hop on Branded by J. Otto's our website www.brandedbyjotto.com and shop by theme. The themes are printed on the outside of the garment and represent life events we all have in common. Scripture has been carefully matched with the appropriate theme and is printed on the inside of the garment.
Hop on Branded by J. Otto’s our website http://www.brandedbyjotto.com and shop by theme. The themes are printed on the outside of the garment and represent life events we all have in common. Scripture has been carefully matched with the appropriate theme and is printed on the inside of the garment.

Branded by J. Otto is just at the beginning of its journey, but I’m assuming that we’re finding Jessie somewhere in the middle of God’s plan for her.

Would you help me support Branded by J. Otto and its new employees live out their calling? I’m donating and would love if you would join with me in partnering with them.

Check out their Kickstarter page here.

For more on the Story of Branded by J. Otto watch the video below.

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One thought on “Work, Calling and Faith

  1. I’ve read Keller’s book and it is definitely worth reading. I wondered what the point of work was for a while and that book helped a lot. However I think it’s more than just “do it…and do it well.” In spending 30, 40, 50+ hours with the same people week in and week out you get to do life together. You celebrate the wins and the losses with your colleagues. You see them and they see me at their/my worst and their/my best. You sit beside your sleepless colleague just returned from maternity leave with a husband who is always working and a toddler who won’t leave her alone. You share the frustrations of ageing parents in the lunch room. You debrief from the tragedy reported on the news last night. It’s those moments you have the opportunity to bring the gospel and Jesus in to the conversation. Not every time and not with everyone. “I guess i try to make sense of [18 hour hostage situation in the centre of Sydney’s CBD] because I believe there is a time of peace coming and perfect justice will occur.” In saying that, you do it in the down moments. Someone suggested committing to 2 hours a week outside the office to build relationships with colleagues. Lunches, post-work drinks etc. They’re the moments to pray for and to be bold in – as scary as they are!

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