Today we’ll see some examples of building our work on God’s foundation.
We’ll look at four main categories of work: offered to God, or redeemed, subverted, or challenged for God.
I knew an animator who I asked to design the opening credits for Redeem the Commute, and some other projects. She excitedly said yes, and lamented that no one ever asked here to do the work she loved as a ministry for God – other churches had always asked her to stack chairs!
I knew a teacher who was moved to a new school in a rough part of town, where a depressing number of students come from families with addicitons and little support. She was not happy with the forced move, but then I asked her – what if God is putting you into these kids’ lives for a reason? There is a difference between teaching children for a paycheque, and teaching children because God loves children as his own, so that the teacher can see that God-given dignity in even the most difficult among them.
Imagine the same thing happening with the debt collector I mentioned on Monday. He could try to treat people with dignity, be gracious in encouraging them to get help, yet firm in that people should repay what they’ve borrowed. As he advanced in his job, he may be able to influence more humane practices across the board. But at some point, he may come up against a huge challenge…asked to extort, blackmail, extract crippling interest from helpless people, etc. Which brings us to:
That debt collector may find he just has to quit. The company may be conducting business in a way God can only challenge. But imagine if my friend took that expeirence and decided to start his own micro-lending firm!
How do you know which approach fits your work? It starts with knowing God’s story, and having a willingness to let it shape our lives. This is what our challenges are all about – learning and applying God’s big story, for the long term and in community.
Challenge: Consider your own work. Should it be offered, redeemed, subverted, or challenged? Discuss.
Then watch the attached video of Lyndsey, a teacher who sees her work through God’s story.
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