“In Christians at Work, which is based on a new study from Barna … . Christian millennials emerge as distinctly optimistic and ambitious, whether in the ‘tangibles’ of their daily work and spiritual growth or in their general awareness of how or whether to apply their God-given gifts.” - Acton
"I cannot count the number of times I have found myself staring at a computer screen, wondering where the last fifteen minutes have gone because I have started work without a clear goal in mind and allowed myself to get distracted. This sort of half-work has the potential to rob me of time at my workplace and, as well, to steal time from other projects (like writing on the productive use of time) that I do for fun." - IFWE
"[T]he commonly reported figure...is derived by taking the total annual earnings of men in the American economy in a given year and dividing that by the number of male workers....Then you do the same thing but for women. The average annual women’s earnings come in at about 80 percent of the average annual man’s earnings." - Harvard Study: Gender Pay Gap Explained Entirely by Work Choices of Men and Women
"I’ve noticed today there are many approaches being offered by businesses for those seeking to find deeper fulfillment and satisfaction in whatever their 'work' might be. With so many options available, why is it that deep satisfaction is still so illusory?" - TIFWE
I’ve always preached that all honest work is God-glorifying and that the opportunity to engage in labor and reflect God’s character through it is a great privilege. Over the years, I’ve also emphasized that if you’re doing the work God wants you to do, however “secular” it may be, you shouldn’t stoop to do anything else. Even vocational ministry is a demotion if it’s not what God wants you to do.
As a pastor, these ideas were relatively easy to affirm. The logic is simple. The best thing any man can do at any time is to obey God. Therefore, if God wants him to sell soap, or make pizza, or drive truck, or mop floors, that activity is the best thing he can do. And if that work is best for him, all other work is inferior.
But when you’re post-pastoral, these principles can be a bit harder to hold with conviction—especially if you loved your pastoral work, prepared thoroughly for it for almost a decade, and still believe it’s what you do best. But sometimes even guys with seminary training and clear evidence of giftedness for ministry can find themselves facing clear direction from God to “do something else until further notice.”
And when that happens, they struggle to see meaning and purpose in the work they find to do.
So on this labor day, I’m talking to myself and to any of the rest of you who sometimes feel that your work is a bit wanting on the scale of importance, meaning and enduring value. (It’s also a holiday, so I’m not going to work too hard at this. Please enjoy the irony.)