Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

No Significant Difference Between the Churched and the Unchurched

In Faith @ Work: What Every Pastor and Church Leader Should Know, Os Hillman refers to a survey conducted for The Wall Street Journal by the Gallup Organization which found "no significant difference between the churched and the unchurched in their ethics and values on the job."

Doug Sherman, co-author of Your Work Matters To God, has said, "Our surveys reveal that 90 to 97 percent of Christians have never heard a sermon relating biblical principles to their work life."

I wonder if there might be a connection between those two findings?

One of the problems is that few seminaries offer training courses for pastors in theology of work. While there are some efforts currently underway to change this, the subject of theology of work is on few radar screens in today's seminaries.

So where can pastors go for guidance in this area? One excellent resource is the Theology of Work Project.

Officially formed in 2007 under the leadership of Dr. Haddon Robinson, the mission of the Theology of Work Project is "to bring together scholars and practitioners in a coalition aimed at building consensus around fundamental truths contained in a Theology of Work.”

Working with biblical scholars, theologians, ethicists, economists, workplace practitioners, and workplace ministers, The TOW Project is currently writing papers on what the Bible itself has to say about fundamental principles related to work.

So far, they have completed studies on Revelation, Colossians and Philemon. Their goal is to produce such studies for every book of the Bible.

The ultimate aim of The TOW Project is "to produce a Theology of Work that is as broadly acceptable as possible, being relevant for every kind of workplace around the world, and meeting the approval of the full spectrum of traditions within the orthodox/historical Christian faith."

The great things is, the writings of The TOW Project are in plain English, so they are understandable not only to theologians, but busy practitioners in the workplace as well.

Check out their study of Colossians/Philemon at http://files.inspyred.com/webfiles/74116/ColossiansPhilemonandWorkLeadArticleapproved2010-01-11.pdf

To learn more about The TOW Project, visit http://www.theologyofwork.org/