Archives For work

There is a subtle mindset which can creep into our thinking as missionaries and social activists.

We can begin to think that there are those who are called to go, and those who are called to give.

Jesus himself said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38

Historically this view has played out in multiple ways.

In his book, Futureville: Discover Your Purpose for Today by Reimagining Tomorrow, Skye Jethani recounts this path through history.

Eusebius taught a two class style. He said there is the perfect life (ministry) and the permitted life. All those not called to a “full-time” ministry emphasis could engage in vocations which were permitted.

The Protestant Reformation brought reform to this with the understanding that God is glorified in all areas of life – including work. This resulted in a dedication to work which was called the Protestant work ethic.

People now sleep 2 1/2 fewer hours each night compared to people from one hundred years ago.

The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.

We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are too busy to answer, and five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.

(Stats from The Overworked American  by Juliet Schur and Rick Warren)

In Genesis, when God created the world, He modeled for us the rhythm of rest and work. He was not weary or tired, but rather set an example for the humans He created. This is how He made them; to function in a rhythm.

Did work happen before or after the Fall of man? Is it a result of sin?

God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden and gave them dominion over all that He had created (Gen. 1:26).

To have dominion indicates rulership and stewardship, or the ability to make things better. Genesis 2:5 tells us that before the Creation of man, there was no one to work the ground. God placed them in the Garden to work and keep it, to even make it better! (2:15)

All this happened before sin!

Work was a part of the perfect world prior to sin and death. When Adam and Eve sinned, work became more difficult. Sin corrupted every aspect of life, including work.


God values work so much that He includes it in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8 tells us “to remember the Sabbath Day…six days you shall labor”.

Half of American workers hate their jobs! That is shocking!

I believe we can improve the enjoyment of our teams by promoting balanced lives coupled with creating a team environment and being concerned with their growth.

Too often workers dislike their jobs because the road to success come through overworking. Workers need to be challenged and pushed, but not run over.

In her book, The Overworked American, Juliet Schor estimates we have 1/3 less leisure time, sleep 90 minutes less per night than needed, and find less time for raising our kids and our marriages.

We saw this in action when some of our Bible school staff walked around like zombies. No student wanted to join staff, living a life similar to what they saw modeled. Your current workers enjoyment communicates a lot to future employees.

While never enjoying every element of our jobs, we should have a basic satisfaction.