This is more of a plug than a post, but anyway!
Here in the UK, the church’s primary mission strategy has been:
‘To recruit the people of God to use some of their leisure time to join the missionary initiatives of church-paid workers.’
It’s a strategy that has yielded much fruit – in evangelism, in social action among the poor, the young, the old, the disadvantaged, as well as in reaching out to the rich, the adult and the privileged. Praise God for the ability of church leaders to mobilise their communities for such mission. Still, this is mission that most Christians can only participate in during their leisure time. What about the rest of their time?
The reality is that 98 percent of Christians – i.e. those not in paid church work – are not properly envisioned or equipped for their mission in the 95 percent of their waking time that they aren’t involved in church activities, wherever that might be – workplace, schoolplace, clubplace. And that is a tragic waste of the church’s missional potential. Too few Christians have eyes to see what God might be doing in the places they already naturally spend their time, and where they already have relationships with those who don’t know Jesus.
Pastoring is tricky business. It’s natural to give the most energy and attention to what we are invested into. For many pastors, this means that the Sunday gathering typically points back to what God is doing in and through the church gathered. This is all good stuff. But, it leaves many people wondering how their faith relates to their every working life.
But what if the tables were turned? What if the main stories we tell, the big wins we celebrate when gathered, are first and foremost about God’s work in our mundane existence? God’s love expressed through our labour? God’s creativity pulsing through our common work of cultivating the world?
It’s these kind of questions that drive Malyon College’s Workplace Centre.
On Saturday 20 June, they’ve put together a really varied group of speakers from across Australia, and a fantastic diversity of workshops, all aimed at one thing:
How do we Transform Work, bridging the Sunday–Monday gap?
I’ll kick it off by laying a theology for work—that all of life is ‘sacred’ to God, so we can serve Him fully in our so-called ‘secular’ lives. From there you’ll hear from experts in the marketplace who live their faith, helping others to do so as well, through their career. There’s also some great stuff for those in ‘church/parachurch’ ministry, to help turn the focus outwards.
Enough said. Check out Transforming Work, and hopefully I’ll see you there!