How Do You Define Your Work?

December 4th, 2012

Recently, a LeTourneau University staff member was shopping at a Longview furniture store and struck up a conversation with the owner. Happy to learn about his customer’s faith and connection to the university, the owner shared about how he enjoys traveling around the region with his father-in-law who is an itinerant minister. “When I travel with him to churches,” he commented, “people assume that I’m a minister as well. But I’m always quick to tell them, ‘I’m not a minister. I am just a Christian who owns a furniture store.’”

Maybe the comment, “I am just a Christian who owns a furniture store,” seems harmless to you—and even familiar. You may not have articulated your thoughts like he did, but have you ever said to yourself, “I’m just an entrepreneur,” “I’m just an engineer,” or “I’m just a school teacher?”

For the Kingdom of God to advance and the Great Commission to be fulfilled, those of us who are Christ-followers need to remove the word “just” from our vocabulary when we discuss our role in the Kingdom of God.  Sometimes we are guilty of thinking that God views His servants on a spiritual ladder.  Missionaries are at the top rung. Then come preachers, pastors and other full-time vocational ministers. Further down the ladder are the rest of us who are just accountants, office workers, sales managers or students.  This mentality runs counter to biblical mandates about connecting our faith in Christ to our vocation.

The vision statement of LeTourneau University reads, “Claiming every workplace in every nation as our mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life’s work as a holy calling with eternal impact.”

If all of us could get this vision embedded into our DNA, just think how our workplaces could be transformed by the power of God.  Instead of dark places filled with people whose values are totally different than ours, what would happen if we committed ourselves to being the hands, feet and presence of Christ to non-believing co-workers for whom Jesus died?  If we got serious about seeing our life’s work as a holy calling with eternal impact, we could never go to work on Monday morning with the same attitude.  If we made a commitment to see our workplace as our mission field, we could never say, “I’m just a _________ (you fill in the blank). 

You are not in your workplace by chance, accident or coincidence.  You were put there by God and bless those around you by offering them the hope they so desperately need and can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

When was the last time you heard someone say, “I’m just a _____________?” How could you encourage people to see just how important their work is to God?