Creative View of God's Labor (day) for us
- Peace with You Brother/Sister in Christ
In order to achieve true peace in your everyday life, And on this
Labor Day, I felt it was important that we as Christians consider how
our labors will impact God's plan for us. So I am going to share
with you a portion of a article I found in the "Intercristo Career
Would you like to meet some Christians who dared to integrate their
lifework around mission? The following stories are of actual men and
women in a wide range of work settings who successfully integrated
the three dimensions of work in unusual and creative ways.
In all fairness, we couldn't expect you to integrate expression,
provision, and mission in your own career until you saw how others
did it successfully. So we want you to look at the stories of some
Christians who invested their faith, hopes, and dreams in a real God
who helped them integrate the three dimensions of their work into
rewarding careers. As you read, feel free to identify with the person
(s) in whose work you most clearly see yourself.
Judy: Fashioned to Help
Judy is a fashion designer who's gifts in fashion design were
expressed in work that provided for her needs. But it was her sense
of mission that really tied her lifework together. When Judy's
church sponsored some Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, she
volunteered to help immediately. Before long she realized that what
these refugees needed most of all were jobs. Judy also noticed right
away that her newfound friends were hard-working and very skillful
artistically. Judy helped the refugees start a small business. She
donated her expertise in design. The church bought some equipment,
and the local mall provided some low-cost space for a tiny retail
outlet. Within a year and a half, Judy was working full-time in the
growing business that provided for her needs and the needs of eight
Al: Faith at Work
Al was the owner of a small electronics manufacturing firm that
employed 75 men and women. As demand for his products grew, so did
the stress level of assembly line workers. Al became concerned when
he saw tempers getting shorter and production time growing longer.
He knew there was a handful of Christians who might be open to a
creative solution, so Al went ahead with his idea.
He hired a chaplain from a local university ministry team to come to
the plant one day a week. This "new employee" hit it off well with
the workers. Before long, brief, informal discussions turned into
deep, meaningful talks.
Today the chaplain leads a weekly Bible study with the plant's
workers. Among the regular attendees are Al himself and two
employees who became Christians through the work of the chaplain's
ministry. Al was happy to stabilize his production level, but even
more excited to see some of his employees find a new spiritual
dimension in their lives and in their work.
Kathy & Keith: Hospitality Plus
Kathy was a legal assistant at a major big-city shipping company.
Her husband, Keith, was a high school science teacher. Both of their
jobs demanded lots of over-time. After a couple of years, the two
realized they had put too much energy into fulfilling their
respective job responsibilities, and too little time into forming
lasting relationships with their co-workers.
Kathy and Keith decided to invite the couples and singles they worked
with over to their home for a series of dinner parties. It opened
up a world of new experiences for the couple. They learned how to
cook new dishes. They discovered how to make their home a center of
hospitality. Most of all, Kathy and Keith learned some of the
personal needs of the men and women with whom they worked.
Kathy and Keith saw their dinner parties become the springboard for
some new and growing relationships. Their work became more rewarding
since they knew their co-workers better. Today, they are praying in
new ways that God will heal the hurt and brokenness of those who've
shared their personal struggles.
Ken & Carrie: New Mission
When Ken was twelve years old, he attended a world missions
conference at his local church. After that, his life was never the
same. First, he learned about people all around the world who had
never even heard the name of Jesus. Second, he read that Jesus'
final instructions on earth were that Christians should go and tell
the world about the Lord. Third, he saw his first eighteen-foot
snakeskin, and the spear that killed it.
Over the years, Ken's perception of world mission matured, but his
commitment never changed. Four years of college majoring in Bible
and anthropology, pluss two college summers of short-term missions
assignments confirmed what he knew all along: He was uniquely gifted
and motivated to sensitively share his faith cross-culturally.
Marriage to an attractive missionary's daughter was contingent on her
commitment to go to a country and people group for whom Ken had
developed a particular burden.
Now, after two more years of specialized training, and three years of
language study, Ken and Carrie are missionaries working among a
people group that never heard the gospel until now.
Bill: Port of Call
Bill was a naval officer for nine years. His tour of duty took him
to most of the world's major ports. Naturally, he loved to travel.
But what excited him even more than seeing a new country was visiting
with familiar friends in cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. These
were missionaries whom Bill came to know through his church back in
Bill used his government clearance as a passport to get into foreign
countries he could otherwise not visit. He arranged to meet the
missionary in his respective city and use the time to deliver
greetings and letters from back home. He also offered invaluable
encouragement and fellowship that Bill's new missionary friends said
they so desperately desired.
Bill's ministry has never interfered with his naval
responsibilities. What it's done, besides offering a practical
source of one-on-one support, is sstrengthen the relationship between
the missionaries and their home churches. Plus, it's encouraged Bill
to share hiis ministry idea with other Christian military personnel
who've since used this creative approach to start their own means of
Just ordinary people,
God uses ordinary people
Just like me and You
Who are willing
To do as He commands
God uses People
That will give him all
No matter how small your all
May seem to you
Because little becomes much
As you place it
In the Master's Hand.
Juan: Family Family Goals
Juan's work as a newspaper reporter often kept him at the office
untill 7:00 p.m. When his son's soccer team needed a coach, Juan
decided to talk to his boss to see if he could arrange a new
schedule. The editor obliged. Now Juan covers a city beat that
allows him to leave the paper at 3:00 p.m. This gives him time to
lead the team practices.
Juan and his team posted a winning record. But another victory that
didn't show up on the score-board was the relationships that Juan and
his wife were able to develop with several of the parents. After the
season was over, two couples regularly came over to Juan and Rosa's
home. One non-Christian couple took a particular liking to Juan and
his wife, and now they regularly attend church with them.
Karen: Market Sharing
Karen was a successful stock broker in Chicago where sher earned a
six-figure salary. However, she chose to live on $30,000 a year.
With the commissions she avassed from dealing on the commodities
market, Karen was able to donate five times the amount she made to a
number of international and local ministries. These included one of
the city's most needy foster homes, an evangelistic outreach in
India, and a feeding project for the starving in Somalia. Karen also
set aside some of her earnings to travel and personally visit these
ministries in order to gain a better understanding of how she could
Today, back home in Chicago, she has begun a fellowship of Christian
brokers who've committed to pray for, and minister, to their fellow
workers. She also volunteers two nights a week in the foster home
she supports financially
MAKING MAJOR CHANGES
As you've just seen, mission opportunities can happen right in your
own place of work. They can also grow out of opportunities created
by Christians who are willing to make major changes in their
careers. Here are some examples of men and women who did just that:
Jerry: Engineered to Serve
Petroleum. It had produced a lifetime of financial success and
professsional reward for Jerry, a respected chemical engineer. For
years the main avenue he had for sharing his faith was a men's Bible
study at church. When he saw his own brother become a Christian,
something changed inside Jerry.
He began to see the need for evangelistic outreach. When he leearned
that petroleum engineers were needed in Saudi Arabia, Jerry and his
wife saw an opportunity to combine work and ministry. He took a new
job at a processing plant on the persian Golf. This became
his "tentmaking" job. Today, while there are a few opportunities for
him to verbalize his faith, Jerry lives the Christian life and trusts
God to show him neew chances to be an effective witness.
Jerry and his wife risked career, financial security, and their
future to move overseas. What they've gained, however, is a ministry
in a new seetting that still allows Jerry to grow in his profession.
Robert: Song of Joy
As a popular radio disc jockey, Robert was the man many people in his
home town woke up to every morning. Robert's career was growing. He
had hopes to become station manager and even part owner of his
station's network family. But Robert decided that he wanted to do
more with his life than spin top-40 records from 6:00 a.m. to noon.
He decided to give up his popular morning shift and work for a much
smaller Christian station. The pay was only a fraction of what he
was previously making. But Robert found a new satisfaction by
creating innovative programs that had a Christian focus. Robert grew
with the station. Today, he's able to reach a whole new audience of
people with whom he shares his faith. And some of the programs he's
introduced at his new place of work have set standards of broadcast
excellence that managers at some of the secular stations have
noticed and admired.
Sheri owned a successful gift shop in her home town. After a shaky
start-up period she saw business grow, especially with elderly
buyers. The seniors who camed in stopped and talked. They shared
their concerns, their stories of lonelinesss. Sheri listened to them
all. She began to visit the nearby community center where these men
and women ate their meals.
Sheri was a businesswoman, but at heart she was also a gifted
organizer. After weeks of volunteering her few spare hours at the
center, Sheri decided to sell her shop. With the earnings, she was
able to work full-time at the senior community center as the new
activities coordinator. She accepted only a fraction of the salary
her friends wanted to pay her. The seniors had never experienced the
fun of crafts, music, and outdoor recreation, until today as Sheri is
puting her gifts of planning and enthusiasm to work.
Ryan: Neew Fields of Growth
For as far as he could remember, Ryan's only field of exploration had
been outer space. That's because as an aerospace engineer, he had
worked on many manned missions designing huge rocket boosters. One
Sunday, he volunteered to help on a refugee farm project through his
church. The agricultural habits and back-breaking labor made Ryan
see right away that he had definitely gone to work in a "foreign
field." But the project was successful. It gave the congregation a
source for fresh vegetables and gave the refugees a needed source of
income. The project also gave Ryan an unusual sense of
As Ryan's involvement with the refugees grew, the church asked Ryan
if he would go on salary, full time, to organize other refugee
projects. Ryan agreed. He left his job inn the aerospace field and
went on to work in his new field. He now administrates job
development programs for over 300 refugees through his local church.
At times he misses his former work, and the financial and lifestyle
adjustments have been significant. But, by getting a new ministry
off the ground, Ryan has utilized a whole new set of talents. And
it has given him a whole new sense of purpose that he never had
Big sales and prestigious awards were what Trudy had to show for here
seven years as an art director at a prestigious advertising agency.
She had also received enough gray hairs from the pressure of the job
for her to know that it was time to take a break. She and her
husband decided to have a baby.
Today, Trudy loves being a mother. She has arranged her schedule so
that she can still spend 20 hours a week offering her creative
services to Christian organizations. She has the freedom to set her
own schedule and work at her own pace. Pluss, Trudy has the
satisfaction of seeing her work promote organizations and causes into
which she can put both her talent and her heart.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
None of the people you've read about here found it easy to integrate
all three Biblical dimensions of work around the central focus of
mission. Smong other things, these Christia ns risked career
stability, financial security, and the possibility of being rejected
by friends-all because they knew that God wanted them to transform
their respective work, and their lives, for His purposes. These
people were willinng to follow God's leading. They listened. They
prayed. They struggled. They obeyed. Ultimately, they acted on the
mission and career opportunities that God pute before them. And
making this step, in His name, has made all the difference in their
If this is impacted you, you may wish to find help in acting on this
at Intercristo or at: