Purposelessness is epidemic, and it's showing up in how we think and talk about our work. According to Gallup research, less than a third of Americans in the workforce are actively engaged and productive in their work. Most are disengaged, and some are actually poisoning business with their negativity.
Matt Monge, Top 100 Leadership Blogger, believes using just to describe a job is indicative of the problem. Saying “I’m just an office manager” or “I’m just a teacher” or “I’m just ... anything” downplays our potential, plays up your perceived limitations and sets up self-fulfilling prophecy. At the Center for Faith & Work, we agree. And it's bad theology as well as destructive.
Each and every person--Christian or not--is part of something much bigger that really matters. Every individual--aware of it or not--has a unique God-given purpose to develop and steward God’s creation, and contribute to human flourishing. Administrative assistants are not just their boss’s schedule managers, but reflectors of the orderly character of a God as they contribute to the smooth functioning of business. Loan processors are not just paper pushers at a mortgage company, but fulfillers of people’s dreams of owning their own home, providing shelter, and creating a place where families can blossom. Sanitation workers are not just trash collectors, but critically important investors in the physical flourishing of their community.
Additionally, as a follower of Christ in the workplace, you’ve been given the added privilege of representing God to your fellow workers. You are God’s chosen instrument to speak His healing words to hungry hearts around you (1 Peter 2:9). See Tim Watson's blog on this subject.
Carve out time soon to think about your work from the bigger perspective. Consider how your work serves God’s purposes and fosters human flourishing. Ask God to empower you to do good work and serve people well.
If you lead others, you are responsible to help them understand the bigger purpose of doing good work. People need more than a job description. They need to be reminded regularly of the bigger picture—that what they do matters, how it matters, and to whom it matters.