Better Jobs Church Perspective by Nick Yantorn, Pastor of Rise Christian Church
I love what Tim Keller shares in his book, Every Good Endeavor: “Work… is an indispensable component if life is to have meaning. It is a supreme gift from God and one of the main things that gives our lives purpose.” One of the most compassionate things we can do as a church is help the people of our community find their purpose. I know, it’s bold and might sound a bit foolish to elevate the idea of work to the plain of purpose, but downplaying the role of work in our lives is neglecting humanity’s designation as God’s image bearers. God works and he has designed us to work. He has created everyone with a distinct set of gifts, talents, and interests offered specifically to better the world around us and reveal more of who he is as Creator.
Unfortunately, most of humanity has a skewed perspective on work. We view it as simply a means to an end. It has become entirely about what we stand to gain in a purely physical sense. When this is our perspective, work loses its purpose and so do we. Work was never designed for us to gain, but for us to give. To give of our gifts and talents, all of which have been intricately woven into each of us by the hands of the God that has set everything into motion. Keller continues, “Your life has no meaning without work, but you cannot say that your work is the meaning of your life.” It sounds like a paradox, but really meditate on what Tim Keller is saying. The work we do is meant to draw us nearer to God. When we go to work, we enter a holy space, one that satisfies the whole person; physical, emotional, and spiritual. Work isn’t the meaning, it’s not the end goal… it’s the gateway, the place that leads us to God’s purpose and the place where we can best reflect his image to the world around us.
With all the implications, the church should be the tip of the spear when it comes to helping people find work. Otherwise, we are neglecting one of the most significant aspects of a person’s life, existence and calling him an image bearer of the God of all creation. This is why I/we at RISE have placed such an emphasis on our job’s ministry. I’ve seen people get lost in the lie of the enemy that tells them their purpose is simply found having their physical needs addressed. This leads to a life of captivity — one in which a cycle of poverty is perpetuated that extends from generation to generation. If they only knew what they were missing out on, if only they could make it to that place where they feel real purpose. A purpose that is revealed through work and completed through Christ.