celebrate your work

I remember a time at church when it seemed like every Sunday for a solid month or two we would pray for and send someone out into the “mission field.” One week it was a nurse who was going to be traveling on Mercy Ships. Another week it was a man selling everything he owned and moving to Thailand to minister there full-time. And among the others there were some youth heading off on exciting journeys around the world with YWAM.

It was inspiring to watch God work through these people. I was certain their work would be celebrated in the museums of great missionaries when we get to Heaven.

I wanted to be there too.

So I prayed.

I remember having one of those conversations with God, and I made my intentions clear. I told Him, “Lord, I’m here! Send me! Where would you have me go? I want to change the world for your sake!”

And after a few minutes of fervent prayer, I felt like He was saying to me, “5205 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL.”

Ha! Why in the world would the address to the building I worked in come to mind?

In an attempt to keep God focused on the important stuff, I told Him, “Yeah, yeah, Lord, that’s where I work. But where do you want to send me? Africa? China? Some remote village on the mighty Amazon River?”

I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

“5205 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL.”

Then there’s me again, “GOD! I told you…. oh, wait. That’s where you want to send me?”

I didn’t want to accept it. I never viewed my workplace as a mission field. I never viewed my work as a ministry. I never imagined God actually cared about what I did there.

But it is, and He does.

Over the next several months and years, I began to discover just how much he cared about it. I would strive to make my (secular) work as sacred as what happened in the church building on Sunday mornings.

And listen, I’m not talking about having a Bible study and prayer meeting in the break room during lunch hour. I’m talking about working in a way that honors God, and dedicating my work to Him, and leaning on the Holy Spirit for guidance in important project direction and decisions.

God wants to be involved with my work, no matter what it is. [Tweet this!]

When I really started getting this perspective deep in my heart, things started changing for me… mostly in my relationship with Him. Like Brother Lawrence, who worked in the kitchen in a 17th century monastery, I began to find that God is there with me, and that even the most menial tasks can be sacred moments.

“The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees.”

(from The Practice of the Presence of God)


This month with The High Calling, I’m running a special #THClive webinar event focusing on the Celebrate Your Work project. I’ll be talking with Bill Peel, the Executive Director of The Center for Faith & Work at LeTourneau University, and Marcus Goodyear, the Senior Editor of The High Calling. We’ll be discussing how churches can connect Sunday and Monday, and some exciting resources available through the Celebrate Your Work project! Join us?

Update… check out the recorded webinar here…

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Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

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