Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. (2 Cor. 5:20)
A recent Gallup poll found that 70% of Americans are disengaged at work. The cost of worker disengagement is hard to measure, but it’s estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars – about the size of the GDP of many countries.
The problem with worker disengagement for Christians is more than an economic problem, however. It is a theological problem and it is a heart problem. Going to work every day disengaged and miserable affects your relationship with your family, friends, community, and even God.
It also affects your influence. Here’s what I mean. Say you’re a plumber. You are one of these disengaged workers, so you show up more or less on time. Your mind is elsewhere. Your colleagues are an annoyance, and clients are a frustration. When problems arise, you are short-tempered because you don’t want to be there. And yet your coworkers see your Bible on your dashboard. What are they to make of this? Christians are lazy? Christians hate work? Christians are hypocrites?
I’m not here to guilt you into getting engaged at work. This is not a matter of will, it is a matter of understanding. If you reframe your understanding of work, it will literally change your life.
As a Christian, there are two things you must know about work:
1. Work is a gift. Immediately after God made Adam and Eve, he put them to work caring for his creation. He gave them dominion – leadership authority – over plants and animals. That’s work. Now remember The Garden is a place of complete harmony between God, man, and creation. Work was part of God’s perfect plan, and since the beginning we have been called to work for God’s glory and our flourishing. Regardless of whether your job is taking care of kids, fixing cars, or selling insurance it is a gift from God.
2. Work is ministry. There is something sacred about vocational ministry, and thus we must hold our full-time ministers in high regard. But we often forget vocational ministers are not tasked with the doing, but rather the equipping. They are, per Ephesians 4:12, to equip the rest of us so we can live as ambassadors for Christ to those God has placed in our lives. That means our family, friends, and yes – coworkers. There is no such thing as secular vocation to a Christ follower. Work is an opportunity to minister to broken and hurting people who, like us, need Jesus.
Friend, it is no accident that you work where you work with the people you work with. God has placed you there as His ambassador to bring order into chaos and peace into turmoil. He has called you there to live as light in the darkness and to spread the love of his rescuing gospel.