Christians talk a lot about “shaping culture” and “having an impact on society.” What springs to mind when you hear those phrases? I tend to think of Christians trying to spread evangelistic or moral messages through entertainment or politics. Those are certainly major places where Christians can live out their values—but there’s a more mundane, perhaps even more important, place where we are called to live out our faith: the business world.
From the Enron scandal a decade ago to the recent economic crisis, it’s clear that Christlike values are as needed in the business community as they are in any other aspect of life. At the Lausanne World Pulse site, John Terrill addresses this in A Revolution of Vocation, which argues that the church should do a better job of equipping and supporting Christians who are called into business:
We desperately need to recover the sacredness of a calling to business. The Church must continue to renounce the sacred/secular divide that has beleaguered Christian communities for too long. As A.W. Tozer rightly notes in The Pursuit of God, far too many Christians get snared in this trap: â€œThey cannot get a satisfactory adjustment between the claims of the two worldsâ€¦. Their strength is reduced, their outlook confused and their joy taken from them.â€ And I might add that their impact in the world is severely constrained.
Christ followers serving in business, law, healthcare, the arts, media, government, and every other profession need to experience in tangible ways the Churchâ€™s blessing of their Christ-honoring work in companies, law firms, clinics, studios, press rooms, and congressional chambers.
Terrill thinks the church has much to say about the role of business within a community, and that in today’s globally interconnected economy, business is a means of doing Christ’s work in the world.
It’s a challenging and helpful read, especially if you or someone you know is a professional trying to figure out how their profession relates to their Christian faith. Terrill’s is a fairly high-level approach; for more ground-level articles about living out your faith in your day-to-day job, see this collection of essays about Christianity in the workplace from Discipleship Tools.
How about you? Do you feel your church supports you in your career? Do you feel called to your profession? Do you have a sense of how your job fits into the big picture of your Christian life?