Contrary to what we might often think on a Monday morning or the beginning of a long shift on a Friday night, work is not a result of the Fall. It is not a punishment on us, for our sin. In fact, in the introduction to Faith at Work, a new book from Revelation Church, London, James Slater points out that work was “the first way that Adam worshipped God: by working and keeping all that God had created (see Genesis 2:15).”
That said, though, work was affected by the Fall. It became harder, more painful and less rewarding. As people began to work with and for one another, our sinful natures meant that employers often had corrupt and unjust practices, and many employees would cheat their bosses, undermine their co-workers, and go home exhausted and un-satisfied. For many people, work is not exactly the life-giving service of worship that God intended.
As Christians we have the mandate, the opportunity and the power to change that.
Revelation Church have spent a lot of time looking thinking through, discussing and teaching into what this might look like - what it might like to be a church for the broken world of work.
Faith at Work is one of the results. The book, published this summer and available now on Amazon and through all good bookshops, shares the workplace testimonies of 24 church members from doctors to TV producers, barbers to chartered surveyors, and everything in between. They cover just about every aspect of working life, from relationships with colleagues to fear of failure, from trusting God when things don’t go to plan, to reflecting him through your work, and even to beating idleness.
Being a church for a broken world isn’t just about serving the poor, it is about bringing the ‘shalom’ - the peace and wholeness of God - into our world wherever it is missing. If it is missing in your workplace and you’d like some tips and encouragement for how to help restore it, this book would be a great place to start.