Without question, most Americans spend a good portion of their waking hours at work. Our nation is a nation at work. According to the latest statistics, about 60% of Americans over the age of 16 are employed. The job market in the USA remains one of the strongest possibilities for provision and financial success in the world. We are not just a nation at work – we are a nation that values work. Much of our identity is connected to what we do for a living.
In spite of the dearth of sermons given to the topic of work, the Bible is full of examples of people at work. When we read the Bible from this perspective, we discover just how many comments, words of wisdom and lessons both from and about the workplace are contained in its pages. The pages of Scripture are filled with people at work: farmers, shepherds, metal workers, business men, bankers, tax collectors, architects, artisans, engineers, managers, day laborers, employers, carpenters, cloth designers, salesmen, preachers, bakers, kings, secretaries — the list goes on and on. The great plan of redemption is being played out on the real stage of history and its players are people who work for a living!
With that said, we should already have a well-developed theology of work. However, that is not the case. In fact, the church has often not been the most helpful place for God’s people to learn about work. We have not taken seriously enough the responsibility to prepare our people to live out their calling at work. We have often spent more time producing guilt in the lives of working people rather than equipping them to be productive laborers.
Welcome to this series, Fruit of Our Labor: A Theology of Work. My hope is to address the topic of work as holistically and practically as possible. We are going to explore what the Bible teaches about work. My prayer is that you will learn what it means to live out your vocational calling and have the impact for God’s Kingdom that He desires.