by Kyle Worley
Far too often, congregants leave their church gatherings discouraged, thinking, “If only the pastor knew what it was like to work with her/him. How can I trust what he says about how the gospel shapes the way I work at my job? He works at a church…”
While there is a certain presumption in these words, an arrogance that assumes that one cannot speak about the way the gospel transforms every facet of our lives, unless that person has experienced every aspect of every life ever lived. Although this is an impossible standard to hold our pastors to, there is a need to have people who are faithfully living out biblically shaped gender roles speak with experience and insight concerning how biblical manhood shapes the way they manage people, submit budget reports, report to bosses, and interact with people of the opposite sex in their office.
In his book Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller says, “One of the hopes for our unraveling society is the recovery of the idea that all human work is not merely a job but a calling. The Latin word vocare–to call–is at the root of our common word ‘vocation.’ Today the word often means simply a job, but that was not the original sense. A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it and you do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests.”
God has given his people, the Church, the “ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18) The Lord has called you to be “ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through [you.]” (2 Cor. 5:20) Our jobs are are apart of God’s mission, they are a primary context for the ministry of disciple-making. As Keller said, “work (any job) can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests.”
We need to re-imagine how being men, shaped by the Gospel of Christ, should form the way that we live out our manhood in the marketplace. How can we begin to do this work of ‘imagining?’
The idea behind the “Biblical Manhood in the Marketplace” series is that we can bring in voices from men who are involved in various ways in the business culture here in America and have them shed light on how the Gospel impacts the daily rhythms of corporate culture, personnel policy, management, ethics, office dynamics, and countless other marketplace issues.
We will have voices representing major corporations, universities, small businesses, and entrepreneurs as we search to find out how biblical manhood shapes the way we work. I hope you will join us.
–Kyle Worley is Connection Minister at the Village Church in Dallas, TX. He is the author of Pitfalls: Along the Path to Young and Reformed and blogs regularly at The Strife. He holds a double B.A. in Biblical Studies and Philosophy from Dallas Baptist University. He is currently completing a M.A. in Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing a M.A. in Religion at Redeemer Seminary. You can find Kyle on Twitter @kyleworley.
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