Work as Worship
Five years-ago my job was eliminated, and my employer offered me a new position which required significant travel. This was not my plan, and how could it be God’s plan? Why would He want me to have less time at home? Less time for church activities and ministries?
For much of my life I was poured into by others - youth ministers, Bible teachers, pastors, etc. As I began growing in my faith, Christian mentors helped me see God wanted more from me, to engage others and lead. Through New Hope, God presented those opportunities. However, with a new travel schedule and young family, my ability to commit to non-family/work related activities was diminished. This meant less time connecting with fellow believers (at church) in ministries/Bible studies/etc. and more time in “the world.”
As a Christian, I often feel like a stranger in a strange land in this world. For that reason, I often sought “shelter” in safe places (church/ home). This is not what God calls us to in the Great Commission. Yes, it’s true God directs us to “not give up on meeting together,” (i.e. church) to edify and encourage. However, he also commands us to “GO and make disciples of all nations.” This is how I view my work as worship - being sent out, or to “go.”
I realized God had been equipping me for this season of life, and that He has expectations for me to contribute to His “big C” Church, in addition to our church at New Hope.
With increased travel, I knew I’d still need Christian connections. God provided; many Christian colleagues are an encouragement to me (hopefully I’m doing the same for them). One example is at one of my first “leadership meetings”, my boss (knowing I was a Christian) invited me to a Bible study! How cool is that? Starting mornings at 6:30 with fellow believers studying God's word was one of many ways God provided. Now I had my encouragement, but more is required to be equipped to engage.
God arms us with the “belt of truth” and the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” and He is clear we are to stay in the word. For my worship to be impactful, I had to become more committed to studying God's word. So where I go, my devotional and study Bible go.
Commitment to prayer and studying His word (especially on the road) better connects me with God. It’s easier to connect with others about God when I am most connected to God. Scripture read in the morning often fits with events of that day, providing opportunities to insert scripture into conversations. If someone picks up on it (they often do), the door is open for further conversation. If church is a big part of our life, it inevitably comes up in conversation, often opening the door to conversation about faith, theirs and mine.
In the past I thought of worship at work in terms of “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). So, my goal was to work hard, and (try) not to complain or be bitter. And that is good. However, “working for the Lord” also means to regard our work as an act of worship.
For me, my worship at work can be boiled down to three actions: 1) Identify other Christians to be encouraged by, and to encourage, 2) Equipping through consistent study of scripture and through prayer, and 3) Engaging others by reflecting the character of Christ on to others, and always being prepared to give an account for the hope that resides within me.