Modeling godly character, making good work, ministering grace and love, molding culture, a mouthpiece for truth and justice, and a messenger of the gospel*—six M’s highlighting the significance of each person’s unique contribution to society through vocational and volunteer work. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Col 3:23).
Everyone is capable of doing excellent work and making a worthwhile contribution to society. And, as the Gospel impacts every area of life and its implications are realized, transformation occurs in individual lives, our communities, and the world. Good work brings health, safety, listening, maintenance, order, provision, and at times, reconciliation and restoration.
One of the most effective ways to contribute to and renew the culture we live in is through our daily contributions vocationally and voluntarily. God’s people can make the effort to grow together in lives of grace, humility, contrition, love, justice, and hope, admitting our own brokenness and letting others see the gospel at work within us. Awareness of God’s grace extended to us every day gives us hope and grace toward others.
Relationships matter! Through meaningful relationships we have an opportunity for a very positive impact where we volunteer in our communities and at our places of work. Authentic, wholesome relationships in the context of serving, teaching, tutoring, or collaborating is an effective way to influence and shape the community and culture around us. Attitudes we can bring into our context include gratitude, inspiration, personal reflection, and a quiet spirit.
My hope is that believers might come together around community-focused initiatives in a participatory model which utilizes teamwork from multiple congregations of varying denominations to meet actual needs in a way that fosters betterment and development of individuals, households, and whole communities. My hope and prayer is for a broad base of ownership and involvement by the people of God, “buoying up” access to, and sacrificial love for, our neighbors.
I am so thankful for congregations who are investing creativity and innovation to truly be “salt and light” in their respective spheres of influence. One such catalytic effort took place right before the holidays in one of our northland congregations, Rock Hill Community Church in Duluth, http://rockhillcc.org/resources/faithwork-resources/ .
I also want to recommend a resource, including a smartphone app and a discussion group leader’s guide I’ve found to be helpful in identifying the various dimensions of faith and work. Check this out and let us know if it bears fruit with individuals and / or small groups you may be mentoring and coaching toward community transformation.
* Transforming Work (Resource) http://www.licc.org.uk/TW/image-bg/index.html