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

The Global Workplace Forum: A New Era for Global Mission

The Global Workplace Forum: A New Era for Global Mission

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, I’m reminded of several truths. I’m reminded of the diverse and far reaching nature of the Church. I’m reminded that technology has created, in many ways, a single global culture. And I’m reminded of the truth that 99% of the world’s Christians have non-occupational ministry jobs, and the workplace is fast becoming the new frontier for global mission. Thinking back...

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

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

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

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 students’ whose learning disabilities make it difficult for them to thrive academically.  What draws me to my work is the opportunity to introduce students to universal themes of struggle, courage, doubt, risk, and triumph that resonate with their personal experiences. Whether the work we study is classical or modern, students see their experiences reflected in the novels, plays, poetry and...

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Posted by on Jun 10, 2019 in Uncategorized, Work | 2 comments

Making All Things New – Joel Hughes, Web Developer

Making All Things New – Joel Hughes, Web Developer

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.” Joel was a 5280 Fellow in 2018. As a computer programmer, I see how technology encroaches on our lives every day. We design online experiences that encourage you to use apps and websites as much as possible – to the point where people are becoming inseparable from their devices. The consequences of this technology are gradually emerging, from people struggling to sleep because of extended exposure to the blue light of a computer screen to social media causing discontentedness and isolation even though we’re more “connected” than ever before. When choosing a career, I pursued web development because I felt...

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Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 in law, Work | 0 comments

Making All Things New – Alan Chan, Corporate Lawyer

Making All Things New – Alan Chan, Corporate Lawyer

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.” Alan was a 5280 Fellow in 2019. In my work as in-house counsel for a large technology firm, I see the brokenness of business culture every day. Working a publicly-traded Fortune 500 company means the pressure to produce wealth and a significant return on investment drives every aspect of our business operations. Our corporation is beholden to our sales numbers and the expectations of external shareholders. The consequences of missing one quarter’s expected returns can be far-reaching and powerful. As a result, short-term thinking keeps us from seeing the long-term impact of our actions. People, processes, and corporate culture fall...

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Posted by on May 29, 2019 in retirement, vocation, Work | 0 comments

What should I do if I can’t afford to retire – and still need to work?

What should I do if I can’t afford to retire – and still need to work?

Though I generally received positive feedback from my March 2019 story for Christianity Today “Saving Retirement,” I also received some pretty significant pushback. One reader, Rodney, wrote in: “Your article ‘Saving Retirement’ in the March issue was a good summary of the situation facing retirees today. However, most of the examples of retirees doing something purposeful after retirement were people who had held leading positions in their field of work with presumably large salaries. The article definitely needed to portray what some ‘ordinary workers’ have gone on to do.” Theology editor Caleb Lindgren wrote, “We agreed with Rodney that there is a much broader picture of post-work life that needs to be acknowledged. Do Christian understandings of work and aging accommodate those who can’t afford to retire?” The brunt of the critique was that the article was class-biased. Since I’m rather sensitive to this subject, having written “God of the Second Shift,” a look at the class bias in the faith and work movement, I was rather miffed to read this! Especially...

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