The Intersection of Faith and Work
It's my delight to introduce you to Joy Dahl, my former DTS student and guest blogger.
We all work. Our workplaces may look different––office building, restaurant, school, home, gym, church, mall––but our work shares one commonality: intrinsic value to God’s Kingdom. Before you brush aside the idea of your daily work having eternal value, consider this: We all interact with people through work who have never heard the Good News or seen it lived out. Unfortunately, few workplace believers view themselves as God’s ambassadors called to the workplace. And many believers incorrectly believe that work is a result of the Genesis 3 curse. Consequently, work remains something between drudgery and a means to a better life.
So how do faith and work intersect?
We long to discover our true purpose in life. Paul confirms that believers are God’s masterpiece––His poema––created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). We step out in faith each day as disciples of Jesus Christ, but do we continue our faith walk at work? What if…
What if Jesus is already working in your workplace, and He’s inviting you to join Him?
What if joining Christ at work leads to the good works God prepared in advance for you to do?
What if you were designed with your unique skills, experience, and gifting to significantly impact the lives of your co-workers, both now and for eternity?
For most of us, embracing a workplace calling requires a change in perspective of God and of work. Enter four key truths:
1. God is a worker. He’s a Creator, Provider and Sustainer. He’s a Gardener and Carpenter. He’s a Teacher and Counselor. From Genesis 1–2 to Revelation 21–22 God works.
2. God created humans in His image and charged us to carry on His work (Gen 1:27–28). After creating the earth and everything in it, God proclaimed all good and very good. But by God’s design, creation was not finished. God blessed His human peeps and commissioned them to continue the work of forming and developing. Then and now, God desires and expects His people to create culture through work.
3. God uniquely gifts and equips believers to live as “sent ones” in the world. Just as Jesus completed His work as a “sent one” (John 16:5, 17:4, 21–23), so too He calls us to carry on His work in the world as “sent ones” (John 17:18; Acts 1:8).
4. As children of Almighty God, our work matters. Our work contributes to the common good, and we live out our faith in the way we work (1 Cor 10:31). Yet, one of the most important aspects of work is our workplace tribe. All of Jesus’ work was and is relational. Ours is too.
God calls all believers…
God calls all believers to live and work as His ambassadors in the world (2 Cor 5:17-20). Whether or not we have the gift of evangelism, we have daily purpose in living out our faith as contributing members of the workplace community. How? By working hard and with integrity. By building genuine friendships and loving others well. By treating co-workers, customers, and vendors with kindness and respect, and bringing the power of prayer into their everyday lives, even though they may never know it.
Through our care for others, the Lord will open opportunities for us to talk about the love and hope of Jesus. To openly pray for and with others. To share how Christ has transformed our lives and how He can transform theirs.
Friends, we step onto a strategic mission field each day we show up to work. Start a conversation with God and ask Him to reveal how He’s working at your work. Ask how you can join Him. Then boldly enter the valuable intersection of faith and work.
Joy Dahl’s Bio
Joy is a Jesus girl transformed by God’s grace. Through many trials she has learned to rise above the depths of real life by holding fast to truth and hope. Now Joy passionately shares the journey of life with others and encourages them through the teaching of God’s Word. Joy cherishes the sisterhood of believers. She’s a disciple-making disciple, helping believers embrace their calling as Christ’s ambassadors in the world.
Much of Joy’s career has focused on startup and high-growth companies in Washington, D.C. and New York, and for 10 years she provided Chief Financial Officer services through her consulting practice. In 2017, Joy earned two Masters degrees in Christian Education and Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Currently, she’s pursuing her Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Formation at DTS. Her emphasis is the integration of work and faith.
Joy and her husband, Gordon, now call Dallas home. Joy’s favorite things include: international travel, dark chocolate, horses, beach getaways, running, big dogs, and adventure!