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‘Tis a Gift to Do ‘Undignified’ Work (Christianity Today)

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Politics, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Blue-collar labor often goes unappreciated and under-rewarded. How can that change? When I was growing up, the best TV shows all featured blue-collar characters. Cheers, The Simpsons, Love and Marriage, The Wonder Years—each centered on the lives of loveable laborers. Cliff from Cheerswas a postman, Homer Simpson pulled levers in a nuclear power plant, and even the disgruntled Al Bundy sold women’s shoes. One episode of The Wonder Yearsfeatured Kevin learning about his dad’s career path from a loading dock worker to a distribution manager. “You have to make your choices,” Mr. Arnold told his son. “You have to try to be happy with them. I think we’ve done pretty well, don’t you?” What a...

Lessons Learned from the Global Workplace Forum

Posted by on Jul 22, 2019 in business, Faith and Work Movement, Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

I recently returned from the Global Workplace Forum, a conference hosted in Manila by the Lausanne Movement. Started in 1974 by John Stott and Billy Graham, the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization gathered people from around the world; last week, 850 leaders from 109 different countries met to discuss the next phase of the global missions movement: the activation of the workplace as the central arena of God’s mission in the world. The highlight was meeting the people* sitting at my table, a small group that discussed the larger live sessions. My table was gloriously diverse:  Jonathan is from India and works in a sports ministry. Because of increased persecution of Christians in...

Making All Things New – Jeanne Oh Kim, Pediatrician

Posted by on Jul 16, 2019 in health care, vocation, Work | 0 comments

In the last of several posts, here I’m highlighting the first-hand experiences of four professionals in Denver. Each of them shared at our annual fundraiser and celebration of vocation, entitle “Making All Things New: Finding Our Place in God’s Mission.” We asked them what they sense is broken in their industries, and how they sense God was using them in his plan to ultimately “make all things new.” Jeanne is a physician living in Denver As a physician, I work in the confines of a broken medical system with sometimes few answers in relation to the infinitely complex human body.  There is always new evidence to challenge previous practices. ...

Should I Work Even After I “Retire”?

Posted by on Jul 11, 2019 in retirement, Work | 0 comments

For many, the thought of working in retirement surfaces feelings of both pain and possibility.   On one side is weariness. In Habits of the Heart, sociologist Robert Bellah interviewed executives, government employees, school teachers, and small businessmen on how they felt about retirement. He found they were “sick of working,” hated “the pressure,” had “paid their dues,” and “wanted to get out of the rat race.” So they chose to retire to “lifestyle enclaves,” as Bellah puts it, or retirement communities built around leisure and consumption, usually unrelated to the world of work. Today Gallup reports that 87% of the world’s workforce is disengaged from their work. If retirement...

The Global Workplace Forum: A New Era for Global Mission

Posted by on Jun 25, 2019 in Faith and Work Movement, Theology, Work | 0 comments

Today I fly to Manila. I’m on my way to speak at the Global Workplace Forum, a gathering of 730 leaders from over 100 countries. Convened by the Lausanne Movement, which was started by Billy Graham and John Stott in the 1970s, today feels like a turning point for how the world’s Christians are understanding the word “mission.” As I prepare to sit on a panel with a man working with nomadic tribes in Kyrgyzstan, a clinical psychologist from Nairobi, a Filipino-American woman who now works in Silicon Valley expanding Apple stores across the world, and a man who’s worked in global business from the Middle East to Canada,...

Making All Things New – Britta Apple, High School English Teacher

Posted by on Jun 14, 2019 in Education, vocation, Work | 0 comments

In the next several posts, I’m going to be highlighting the first-hand experiences of four professionals in Denver. Each of them shared at our annual fundraiser and celebration of vocation, entitle “Making All Things New: Finding Our Place in God’s Mission.” We asked them what they sense is broken in their industries, and how they sense God was using them in his plan to ultimately “make all things new.” Britta was a 5280 Fellow in 2018-19. One area of brokenness that I encounter as a high school English teacher is within the lives of my students. It ranges anywhere from troubled family situations to poor choices in relationships to...