Work brings mixed emotions to the surface in all of us. For some, we think of the colleagues we call friends, the enjoyable chats at the lunch table, the stimulating work, the beautiful children we get to raise at home, the fantastic paycheque. For others of us, Sunday night brings a sense of doom, simply because Monday has come around again all to soon. For most of us, we fluctuate between the two- there are positives and negatives about work. Whether we are in paid work, home work or volunteer work, there are elements of God’s blessing and his curse to our work.
Kara Martin, in her recent book “Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God” (2017: Graceworks Private Limited, Singapore) unpacks the whole notion of work. Her premise is this: God created work, and invites us in to share in his work, as a means of worshipping and glorifying him. Her book is extremely easy to read; she weaves in real-life story, with Biblical principles and practical applications. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions that give the reader pause, acting as a catalyst to deeper reflection.
As Martin points out “98% of the people in church will spend 95% of their time outside of the church” (Preface, p.xxi; Referencing Mark Greene). If so much of our time is spent outside of church, and many of these hours working in some capacity, Martin argues that more time needs to be spent considering a Biblical foundation for work and how faith and work intersect.
“Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God” (2017), highlighted preconceived ideas I had about work. Most of these assumptions I had were culturally-constructed. In all my years working, both in paid work and at home, I realised I had never stopped to assess the spiritual dimensions of my work. The fact that work can be redemptive and that my work now can point me to my work then were fairly new ideas for me to consider.
Martin writes that many of us seperate our faith and work, thinking that one is simply a method for surviving, “The danger is that we think that our work doesn’t matter to God. We think that God is only concerned with spiritual things like Bible reading, church services, mission activity, prayer, and evangelism. …A biblical view of work makes a real difference in our working. …We need to be conscious of God as the one we truly work for, and ensure our work is brought under his sovereignty. We seek to serve him in and through our working. While we work, every activity, every encounter, every word spoken or written is offered to God in gratitude for the privilege of working for him and others.” (pp. 2, 4, 5)
I would recommend this book for any Christian who works; who wants to build a Biblical framework for work and who wants to practically live out the God-ordained mandate to tend for the world in which we live.
“Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God” by Kara Martin is available from The Wandering Bookseller.
To hear Kara speak about her book, tune in to Pursuits of God podcast starting soon!
Image: Kara Martin