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A theology of getting things done

A theology of getting things done

So for the Christian, is work a necessary evil–a way to earn money so we can do God’s work on the weekends? Or is it the primary expression of human creativity and mission? Baptist minister Matt Perlman suggests a theology of work that challenges the idea that daily work and faithful living are separate spheres. Matt Perman…hearing [a]Christian connect the dots between efficiency and spirituality is music to his ears.

“I think this is a huge gap in the church,” said Perman, a Minneapolis resident, Baptist and author of What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done.

That gap, he said, keeps Christ’s followers from seeing the importance of the seemingly mundane, day-to-day work they do on God’s mission in the world. erman’s mission, like that of his book, is to present a theology of labor and organization that pushes Christians to put the needs of others first — and not only by feeding the homeless or building houses in Haiti.

“Paul says ‘abound in the work of the Lord,’ and that means be productive,” Perman told ABPnews/Herald. “But we have this narrow view that ‘the work of the Lord’ means working in a soup kitchen or going on missions to Africa.”

Retreats are great if they help one connect their work as an expression of their spirituality. If we keep “retreating from challenges instead of facing them head-on” then that approach can be problematic.

“God calls us to solve our problems,” he said. “Let’s stop making retreats with Jesus the solution to every problem we have.”

Perman said tackling big or small chores, at home or at work, can be just as spiritually refreshing if a person sees those tasks from a Christ-like perspective.

“A lot of times we don’t see our work as service, but just as something to get a paycheck,” he said. “Your work takes on a whole new meaning when you see it as an avenue through which to serve others.”

So what do you think? In a culture that prizes productivity and where our worth is defined by our work, how do we express our faithfulness in the workplace?


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John B. Chilton

God puts the holy in retreats. In the same way God puts the holy in the workplace and in neighborhood from the richest to the poorest. Our job is to find the holy and work with it.

Not that I am speaking of how I actually live my life.

What we can fall prey to is making our occupations our source of fulfillment to the extent of making our work an idol. That’s where some of us are. Others find work sheer drudgery. Neither is expecting find the holy at work.

Another thought. What if work is in reference to Genesis where God gave humans dominion over the earth. Is that what Paul is thinking? We are the one creature that can transform the earth — and destroy it. How are we doing on that score?

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