Work as Worship

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Creating for the Creator

My eight year old son recently asked me if I ever see something and think, “How did you do that, God?” What a great question. My answer, as I looked back at him and smiled, was “every day.”

I actually need inspiration as a creative. If I was to design or illustrate without continuing to find new inspiration, my work would start to grow stale. And I’ve not found a better place to get inspired than marveling at the work of the greatest creative ever. The creator of creativity. I think this is true in my life as well as in my work. When I find my inspiration in the things that God has done and is doing in my life, things are much more new and exciting. I’m often reminded of Psalm 19:1 - “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” This is true whether I’m watching an amazing sunset, my beautiful wife or our two sons play.

As a designer and illustrator, I’m driven to create projects that make people say, “How did you do that?” I may not always hit the mark, but striving for that creative excellence brings me closer to God. It’s very gratifying to be able to use the talents God has given me, and I can’t help but be reminded that I am created in God’s image as I work my way through the creative process. It feels good when I create because I take after my Heavenly Father, who loves to create.

When I finish a design and send it off to the client, I’m excited and a little bit nervous about what the world might have in store for my creation. So, I can understand a little better how God must love us. When you create something, you’re fully invested and connected to that creation. It’s part of you. But as much as I care for a logo or an illustration I’ve created, how much more must God love me? I would not offer up one of my sons on behalf of a design (nor should I), but that’s exactly what God did for me. I wouldn’t offer my own life in exchange for the life of one of my creations, but that’s what Jesus did for us.

Ultimately, that kind of love would get in the way of the give and take necessary for the creative process to be successful, so maybe it’s for the best that I’m not quite that invested in my work.

Thankfully, though, He is.

Sling Shot Design & Illustration

Called to Teach

Matt Bowman, a PE teacher in a local elementary school, has a unique perspective on the topic of work as worship. Though seemingly limited in his ability to share the gospel in his workplace, Matt's teaching gift and intentional pursuit of Jesus allows him to be a force for good, both in and out of the classroom.

My calling is to be a PE teacher and I have been an elementary PE teacher in Pike Township for 14 years. I praise God for giving me the spiritual gift of teaching and the ability to influence over 500 students a year.

My Christianity shows in my teaching style. For example, I manage the gym environment according to Godly principles: from the way I instruct students to treat each other, how to respond in conflict, and how I handle discipline.

The struggle with being a Christian teacher in a public school setting is the lack of freedom to teach about God and His amazing grace. This has to be done through relationships built on the side instead of openly teaching the entire class.

The relationships I develop with students and their families allow me to speak openly about God outside the school environment. God has given me several opportunities to help the spiritual and physical needs of others. My family and I have been able to house, clothe, feed, and provide transportation for those in need. These situations allow me to share my faith openly because they occur after the school hours.

-Matt Bowman